Sidra Amin, Sidra Nawaz return to T20I side for Asia Cup
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Opener Sidra Amin and wicketkeeper Sidra Nawaz have earned recalls in the national side for the ACC Women’s T20 Asia Cup in Sylhet, Bangladesh next month. The 15-player squad unveiled by national women’s selector Asmavia Iqbal also includes uncapped all-rounder Sadaf Shamas.
There are three changes in the squad that featured in the tri-series in Ireland (that included hosts and Australia) and Birmingham Commonwealth Games in July-August. The players who miss out are Anam Amin, Gul Feroza and Iram Javed.
Pakistan squad: Bismah Maroof (c), Aimen Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Ayesha Naseem, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Kainat Imtiaz, Muneeba Ali (wk), Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Sadaf Shamas, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Amin, Sidra Nawaz (wk) and Tuba Hasan
Reserve players: Nashra Sundhu, Natalia Pervaiz, Umme Hani and Waheeda Akhtar
The first phase of the tournament will be played on round robin basis following which the top four teams will qualify for the semi-finals.
Selector Asmavia Iqbal: “I want to congratulate the 15 players selected for the all-important Asia Cup next month. These players have been selected after observing their performances in the recent practice matches in Lahore.
“Sidra Amin has been in good form of-late. She did well in the practice matches and became only the second Pakistan women batter to score two ODI centuries recently. Her presence at the top of the order will instil stability. We have also selected an additional keeper in Sidra Nawaz because of the long duration of the tournament. On these tracks, we need a specialist wicketkeeper as a backup for Muneeba Ali, in case she becomes unavailable.
“Sadaf Shamas did extraordinary well in the recent practice matches and we feel this was the right time to elevate her to the national side. I am sure she will prove to be a good addition to the national side. Her ability to bat in the middle order and bowl medium fast makes her a good fit in the side and promises to provide balance to the playing XI whenever she gets her chance.
“I had detailed conversations with the players who have been dropped. The decision to leave them out was taken considering their recent form and the conditions our team will encounter. They understand the areas they need to work on and I am sure they will continue to put in the hard yards and stage a strong comeback.”
Left-arm orthodox Nashra Sundhu, after missing the tri-series and the Commonwealth Games because of a shoulder injury, is one of the four players on standby in Pakistan. The other three are: Natalia Pervaiz, Umme Hani and Waheeda Akhtar.
The 15-player squad and the reserves will undergo 10-day camp at Lahore Country Club, Muridke from 18 to 27 September and the national side will fly out for Bangladesh on 28 September.
Following David Hemp’s decision to not to extend his contract, the Pakistan Cricket Board will start the search for the new head coach following the expiration of his contract in mid-October.
Player support personnel: Ayesha Ashhar (team manager), Saleem Jaffer (bowling coach), Mauhtashim Rashid (fielding coach), Muhammad Zubair Ahmad (analyst) and Rifat Gill (physiotherapist).