KARACHI:Fatima Sana will lead Pakistan in the upcoming ACC Emerging Women’s T20 Asia Cup that will be played in Hong Kong next month. The national women’s selection committee has announced 14-player squad, which includes four players who featured in the inaugural ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup earlier in the year, for the eight-team tournament that will be played from 12 till 21 June.
The squad has been put together after observing performances in the T20 phase of the Pakistan Cup Women’s Cricket Tournament and emerging camp in Multan in March.
Fatima has played 31 One-Day Internationals and 24 T20 Internationals and the decision to name her captain for the tournament has been made after she captained Strikers, based on probables for this squad, to wins in all three matches in the above-mentioned tournament and led Blasters’ successful T20 Championship campaign in Lahore in December.
Squad: Fatima Sana (c), Anoosha Nasir, Eyman Fatima, Gull Feroza, Gulrukh, Lubna Behram, Najiha Alvi (wk), Natalia Parvaiz, Sadaf Shamas, Shawaal Zulfiqar, Syeda Aroob Shah, Tuba Hassan, Umm-e-Hani and Yusra Amir. Reserves: Amber Kainat, Dua Majid, Fatima Khan and Rameen Shamim
Pakistan are slotted in Group A with Hong Kong, India A and Thailand A. Pakistan will open their campaign on 13 June with the match against Thailand A, after which they play Hong Kong and India A on 15 and 17 June, respectively. Top two teams from each group will qualify for the semi-finals which will be played on 19 June. The final of the tournament will be held on 21 June.
Chief selector Saleem Jaffar: “I want to congratulate all players who have been selected for the emerging Asia Cup and I am hopeful that they will perform to their full potential. We have some outstanding talent coming up and it was a tough call to select 14 players. I want to tell those cricketers who have not been selected for this tournament to keep their heads high and keep working hard and they will definitely get chances in the upcoming events.
“We have been observing these players since the camp in Multan and we have tested them in different conditions, with their most recent challenge being the three T20 matches against our top international players.
“Fatima Sana has displayed some outstanding leadership credentials in domestic tournaments recently, and I am sure she will lead this side with example.”
Fatima Sana: “It is an honour for me to captain Pakistan in the upcoming tournament. The responsibility of leading the emerging side will definitely help me develop as a cricketer and I am eagerly looking forward to leading my team in this important tournament. These players are full of energy and are excited for the opportunity ahead of them.
“We have had good practice over the last few weeks, and the Pakistan Cup Women’s Cricket Tournament provided us ample match practice against tough sides. Ahead of these matches, we had a healthy discussion as a team amongst ourselves that we have to make the most of these matches, and I am glad how every player stepped up and contributed in each game.”
The emerging team’s pre-tournament camp will begin tomorrow, Thursday, at the Hanif Mohammad High Performance and will run until 8 June. They will depart for Hong Kong on 9 June.
Player support personnel: Aisha Jalil (manager), Mohsin Kamal (head coach), Muhammad Kamran Hussain (assistant coach), Muhammad Usman Shahid (analyst) and Rabia Siddiq (physiotherapist).
The national women’s selection committee includes Asmavia Iqbal, Marina Iqbal and Mohtashim Rashid.