LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board today unveiled the two women’s squads for the three Women’s League exhibition matches, which will be played ahead of the HBL PSL 8 matches in Rawalpindi on 8, 10 and 11 March. The women’s matches will start at 2pm and will be followed by the men’s matches at 7pm.
Bismah Maroof will captain Amazons, which include Ireland’s Laura Delany, England’s trio of Lauren Winfield-Hill, Maia Bouchier and Tammy Beaumont, and Australia’s Tess Flintoff. Nida Dar will lead the Super Women, which will also comprise Sri Lanka’s Chamari Athapaththu, Danni Wyatt of England, Jahanara Alam of Bangladesh, South Africa’s Laura Wolvaardt and Lea Tahuhu of New Zealand.
This means world’s 10 leading foreign players from seven countries will be represented in the three matches, which are billed as soft launch of the Pakistan Women’s League, which is tentatively planned for September.
These 10 foreign stars will be accompanied by Pakistan’s 20 elite players, four U19 players who featured in the recently held ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup (Areesha Noor, Eyman Fatima, Shawaal Zulfiqar and Syeda Aroob Shah) and two emerging cricketers (Fatima Khan and Syeda Masooma Zahra).
The 36 cricketers have been equally divided into two sides with the playing line-ups to include a maximum of four and minimum of three foreign players and a minimum of one emerging or U19 player. Of the 10 foreign players, eight cricketers recently featured in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 in South Africa with Delany and Athapaththu captaining Ireland and Sri Lanka, respectively.
South Africa’s Laura Wolvaardt is one of the biggest stars in women’s cricket. She was selected in the Team of ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 and is the sixth-ranked batter in the world. Similarly, Danni Wyatt is one of the recognisable names in women’s cricket following her 1,776 ODI and 2,369 T20I runs. Along with Suzie Bates of New Zealand, Wyatt is the second most capped T20I player with 143 matches, eight matches behind India’s Harmanpreet Kaur.
In the ICC rankings for batters, Athapaththu is ranked 11th and is followed by Wyatt (16th), Beaumont (44th) and Delany (61st). Tahuhu is the highest-ranked foreign bowler in eighth position, followed by Jahanara (60th).
Pakistan’s high-ranked players in the field are Bismah Marioof (33rd), Nida Dar (38th), Aliya Riaz (56th) (all batters); Sadia Iqbal (19th), Nida Dar (21st), Nashra Sandhu (26th), Anam Amin (37th) and Tuba Hassan (39th) (all bowlers).
Australia’s Tess Flintoff and Beaumont missed out on last month’s event. 19-year-old Tess is knocking at the doors of international cricket, 31-year-old Beaumont is already an established star cricketer after representing England in seven Tests, 103 ODIs and 99 T20I, scoring a total of 5,493 international runs with 10 centuries.
Amazons’ captain Bismah Maroof: “I am delighted to lead Amazons team in the three exhibition matches of the Women’s League. This is a great opportunity for our players to express their talent. The involvement of foreign players in the exhibition matches will provide a perfect opportunity to our players to learn from them.”
Super Women captain Nida Dar: “I am excited to lead the exciting bunch of players from Super Women. The exhibition matches will provide a perfect platform to the emerging players to exhibit their talent. The foreign players’ participating in these matches and their experience will provide a great learning to the local players.”
Squads: Amazons – Bismah Maroof (captain), Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Areesha Noor, Eyman Fatima, Fatima Khan, Fatima Sana, Ghulam Fatima, Gull Feroza, Kainat Imtiaz, Laura Delany (Ireland), Lauren Winfield-Hill (England), Maia Bouchier (England), Nashra Sundhu, Sadaf Shamas, Tammy Beaumont (England), Tess Flintoff (Australia) and Umm-e-Hani
Super Women – Nida Dar (captain) Aimen Anwar, Chamari Athapaththu (Sri Lanka), Danni Wyatt (England), Iram Javed, Jahanara Alam (Bangladesh), Laura Wolvaardt (South Africa), Lea Tahuhu (New Zealand), Muneeba Ali, Natalia Parvaiz, Omaima Sohail, Sadia Iqbal, Shawaal Zulfiqar, Sidra Amin, Sidra Nawaz, Syeda Aroob Shah, Syeda Masooma Zahra and Tuba Hassan
Schedule: 8 Mar – 1st match, 2pm, Pindi Cricket Stadium. Shozab Raza and Saleema Imtiaz (on-field umpires), Tariq Rasheed (third umpire) and Humaira Farah fourth umpire. Mohammad Anees (match referee)
10 Mar – 2nd match, 2pm, Pindi Cricket Stadium. Shozab Raza and Humaira Farah (on-field umpires), Tariq Rasheed (third umpire) and Saleema Imtiaz (fourth umpire). Mohammad Anees (match referee)
11 Mar – 3rd match, 2pm, Pindi Cricket Stadium. Tariq Rasheed and Saleema Imtiaz (on-field umpires), Shozab Raza (third umpire) and Humaira Farah (fourth umpire). Mohammad Anees (match referee).