Diana Baig returns as Pakistan announce squad for Australia series and Women's T20 World Cup
Pakistan Women (Source: Twitter)
Pakistan Cricket Board, on Wednesday (December 14), announced a 15-player squad for the upcoming bilateral white-ball series against Australia and the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, scheduled in South Africa from February 10 to 26.
Bismah Maroof will continue with the captain's cap at the helm while the right-arm fast bowler Diana Baig returns to the squad after missing out in the home series against Ireland in due to a shoulder injury.
In another major development, spinners Sadia Iqbal and Tuba Hassan, who were ruled out of the Ireland series due to hand and index finger injuries, respectively, have also marked their return.
While the left-arm spinner Sadia has been added to both ODI and T20I squads, leg-spinner Tuba is part of Pakistan's T20I squad only.
Asmavia Iqbal, the chief selector, opened up on the developments stating,
"The return of Diana Baig, Sadia Iqbal, and Tuba Hassan will give a boost to the side and will strengthen our bowling attack which has the capability to do well,
"Sidra Nawaz has been added as our second wicket-keeper in the squad to give Muneeba Ali some space to express herself more with the bat, and gives an added option to the captain to utilise the services of a second wicket-keeper on the long tour. The ODI series against Australia is very crucial, the expectations are high as we have won five of the six ICC Championship matches and our aim is to qualify directly for the 50-over World Cup."
Pakistan Women will travel to Australia for three ODIs, which are part of the ICC Women’s Cricket Championship 2022-25, and three T20Is. They will be looking to qualify for the 50-Over World Cup.
The three ODIs will be played on 16, 18, and 21 January, while the three T20Is will be held on 24, 26, and 29 January. The team will then travel to South Africa from Melbourne to feature in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023.