Former Pakistan captain Javeria Khan is set to return to the T20I side after 15 months, having been called up for next month’s home series against Ireland. The selectors have also called up uncapped offspinner Umm-e-Hani for the ODI-leg of the tour. Senior fast bowler Diana Baig has been ruled out of both series with a shoulder injury.
Fatima Sana, who missed the recent Asia Cup due to a twisted ankle, has recovered to make her way into both T20I and ODI squads for the Ireland series. She is coming off a four-week rest period as a part of her rehabilitation, after picking up the injury during the inaugural Women’s Caribbean Premier League.
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Hani’s call-up has raised some eyebrows as she doesn’t have any distinguishing domestic performances to back up her selection, but ESPNcricinfo understands she was picked mainly on the basis of her performances in the recent women’s camp.
Javeria’s return follows a disappointing last 15 months, where she managed only 141 runs in ten ODIs, averaging 14.10, and was demoted from category A to C on the national-contracts list.
On her return, chief selector Asmavia Iqbal said: “The experienced Javeria Khan has been included in the T20I squad, to boost the side’s batting, and her presence at the top of the order will provide stability.
“The team performed well in the recent ACC Women’s T20 Asia Cup and so we have not made many changes as we want a well-balanced and settled squad ahead of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup taking place next year. Fatima Sana’s comeback in the side will strengthen the fast-bowling department as the team will be without the experienced Diana Baig.
“I am sure the players will step up and perform, as important ICC Women’s Championship points will be up for grabs for direct qualification to the next ODI World Cup.”
Apart from the injured Baig missing out, Pakistan have dropped Anam Amin and Gull Feroza from the ODI squad, bringing in left-arm-spinner Nashra Sandhu and pacer Kainat Imtiaz alongside Hani. Sidra Nawaz, who hasn’t had a good outing of late in the shortest format has made way for Javeria, though she retains her spot in the ODI squad.
Ireland’s tour of Pakistan includes three ODIs, part of the ICC Women’s Championship, followed by three T20Is. The ODIs will be played on November 4, 6, and 9, while the T20Is are on November 12, 14, and 16. All games are to be played at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. This is the first time a senior Ireland team – men or women – is touring Pakistan.
Both Pakistan’s T20I and ODI squads will undergo a four-day camp in Lahore after the players arrive at the team hotel on October 25. The squads will have fielding and net sessions on 26 and 28 October, followed by two intra-squad 50-over practice games on October 27 and 29.
Pakistan ODI squad: Bismah Maroof (capt), Aiman Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Fatima Sana, Ghulam Fatima, Kainat Imtiaz, Muneeba Ali (wk), Nashra Sandhu, Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Sadaf Shamas, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Ameen, Sidra Nawaz (wk), Umm-e-Hani. Reserve players: Ayesha Naseem, Tuba Hassan
Pakistan T20I squad: Bismah Maroof (capt), Aiman Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Ayesha Naseem, Fatima Sana, Javeria Khan, Kainat Imtiaz, Muneeba Ali (wk), Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Nashra Sandhu, Sadaf Shamas, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Ameen, Tuba Hassan. Reserve players: Ghulam Fatima, Sidra Nawaz, Umm-e-Hani