Pakistan Women's Squad for Asian Games; Anoosha, Shawaal Earn Maiden Call-ups
Pakistan Women's Squad for Asian Games; Anoosha, Shawaal Earn Maiden Call-ups

LAHORE: Pakistan's senior women's cricket squad for the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, has seen the inclusion of two promising players - left-arm spinner Anoosha Nasir and right-handed batter Shawaal Zulfiqar. Their selection comes as a reward for their exceptional performances in the ICC U19 Women's T20 World Cup and the Emerging Women's Teams Asia Cup, as stated by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) media release.

Notably, Diana Baig makes a return to international cricket after recovering from a finger injury she sustained during the One-Day International against Australia in January. Her comeback adds further depth to the 15-player squad.

The Pakistan women's team, which has secured gold medals in the last two editions of the games, aims for a remarkable hat-trick in this year's event. Scheduled to take place from September 19 to 26, the tournament will be played in the T20 format.

The team, captained by Nida Dara, is expected to feature in the Asian Games from the quarter-finals based on the ICC T20I rankings and tournament rules.

Saleem Jaffar, along with head coach Mark Coles and captain Nida Dar, led the women's selection committee in finalizing the 15-member squad.

Before the Asian Games, the Pakistan women's team will engage in a home series against South Africa, comprising three T20Is and three ODIs as part of the ICC Women's Championship 2022-25, taking place in Karachi from September 1 to 14. The squad for this bilateral series will be announced soon.

Unfortunately, former captain Bismah Maroof has opted out of the Asian Games due to the event's regulations that prohibit athletes from bringing their children along.

Additionally, Ayesha Naseem, who featured in the ICC Women's T20 World Cup, expressed her desire to retire from the game, a decision that was accepted by the board.

Chief Selector Saleem Jaffar expressed confidence in the squad, stating, "Our team for the Asian Games embodies the future of women's cricket in Pakistan. With a blend of emerging talent and seasoned campaigners, I anticipate the players will perform exceptionally well in the event."

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