Pakistan team is all set to take on South Africa in a high-stakes white-ball series next month. Chief Selector Saleem Jaffar has unveiled a power-packed 15-player squad that promises edge-of-the-seat action.
The showdown includes three T20Is and three ODIs, with the ODIs carrying the weight of being part of the ICC Women’s Championship 2022-25. The T20Is will blaze into action at the iconic National Bank Stadium in Karachi from September 1 to 5, followed by the ODIs on September 8, 11, and 14 at the same electric venue.
Young gun Shawaal Zulfiqar, a name you’ll want to remember, has earned her spot in the T20Is. The 18-year-old dynamo is also a contender for Pakistan’s squad in the upcoming Asian Games, doubling up the excitement.
The squad gets a boost with the return of right-arm fast bowler Diana Baig, who’s back in action after bouncing back from a finger injury that benched her for more than half a year. Diana’s fiery pace is set to make waves once again.
Stepping into the captain’s shoes is the seasoned all-rounder Nida Dar. She’s taking the helm after Bismah Maroof gracefully stepped down from Pakistan’s captaincy post the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.
Fans can cheer for Pakistan leg-spinner Syeda Aroob Shah’s comeback to the T20I side after more than three years. And that’s not all, versatile all-rounder Natalia Parvaiz, who last graced the field in 2018, is back with a bang, also making it as a reserve player in the ODI squad.
Keep an eye out for Najiha Alvi, the uncapped wicketkeeper-batter, who is all set to shine in the T20Is. Off-spinner Umm-e-Hani, who has shown her mettle in one ODI, adds an exciting spin to the T20I squad.
In the ODI arena, Umm-e-Hani and Waheeda Akhtar enter the scene, stepping up to the plate and replacing Ayesha Naseem and Kainat Imtiaz from the previous Australia tour. Pakistan’s Chief Selector Saleem Jaffer highlights the rationale behind the selections.
Chief Selector Saleem Jaffar shared the strategy behind the squad, “After careful consideration, we have decided to bring Syeda Aroob Shah and Natalia Parvaiz back into the fold in the T20I format. Their recent performances and improved fitness have been remarkable, and we believe they will bring a new dimension to the team.
“Umm-e-Hani’s inclusion in both squads is based on her exceptional off-spin abilities. With the pitches in Karachi favoring spinners, we are confident that she will play a crucial role in our bowling attack.
“To bolster our fast-bowling department, we have selected Waheeda Akhter in the ODI squad. With Diana Baig and Fatima Sana leading our pace attack, it’s essential to have cover for them. These two fast bowlers have proven themselves to be pivotal in ODI cricket, especially considering the use of two new balls,” via PCB.
Pakistan T20I squad for South Africa series:
Nida Dar (c), Aliya Riaz, Bismah Maroof, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Muneeba Ali, Najiha Alvi (wk), Nashra Sundhu, Natalia Parvaiz, Sadaf Shamas, Sadia Iqbal, Shawaal Zulfiqar, Sidra Amin, Syeda Aroob Shah and Umm-e-Hani
Reserves – Anoosha Nasir, Omaima Sohail and Waheeda Akhtar
Pakistan ODI squad for South Africa series:
Nida Dar (c), Aliya Riaz, Bismah Maroof, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Ghulam Fatima, Muneeba Ali, Nashra Sundhu, Omaima Sohail, Sadaf Shamas, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Amin, Sidra Nawaz (wk), Umm-e-Hani and Waheeda Akhtar
Reserves – Najiha Alvi, Natalia Parvaiz and Tuba Hassan
vs South Africa (all matches at National Bank Stadium, Karachi)
27 Aug – South Africa team arrival
1 Sep – First T20I v South Africa
3 Sep – Second T20I v South Africa
5 Sep – Third T20I v South Africa
8 Sep – First ODI v South Africa
11 Sep – Second ODI v South Africa
14 Sep – Third ODI v South Africa