Sana Mir named ambassador of ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier

LAHORE  -  The International Cricket Council (ICC) unveiled former Pakistan captain Sana Mir as the ambassador for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier on Wednesday.

Sana Mir, who has captained Pakistan in 137 international matches, will be monitoring the 10-team tournament, where the two finalists will qualify for the Women’s T20 World Cup in Bangladesh. The former captain expressed excitement to be part of the tournament as an ambassador, hoping to witness some great cricketing action as ten teams battle out for two coveted spots.

“Other than the big qualification opportunity for two teams, the tournament will provide excellent exposure to the Associate Member teams and their players,” said Sana Mir. “The women’s game has become more and more competitive in recent years and the 10 nations involved in the Qualifier possessa number of quality players.”

The former all-rounder has represented Pakistan in several qualifying events during her 14-year career and will share her experience with the players participating in the tournament. “My aim is to talk to the various teams and players during the Qualifier and help guide them on how to deal with the pressure of these events and what it takes to succeed. “Pakistan had a great record in these events, and I in particular have fond memories of the 2008 edition of the 50 over World Cup qualifier event that I played.”

She along with Netherlands’ Caroline de Fouw jointly won the Player of the Series award during the 2008 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifying Series. Mir also believes that the gap between the top-ranked teams and Associate Member teams is getting smaller due to increased playing opportunities for players through ICC pathway events.

“The players are playing a lot more and getting decent exposure through their domestic tournaments and the ICC pathway programme. For women’s cricket to grow further, the regional events and the Qualifier are incredibly important.

She picked Sri Lanka and Ireland as favourites but did not rule out the possibility of upsets from lower-ranked teams. “While Sri Lanka and Ireland will probably befavourites to qualify alongside Thailand, teams like Scotland, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Uganda and Zimbabwe surely have the potential to cause major upsets and make their way through to the semis and eventually to the final as well.

“I am particularly keen to see the progress of some of the Zimbabwe players whom I worked with in my mentorship role during the inaugural ICC Women’s U19 T20 World Cup in South Africa last year,” she concluded.

The ten-team tournament will commence on 25 April in Abu Dhabi. All matches will be played at the Tolerance Oval and Zayed Cricket Stadium.The teams participating have been divided into two groups of five each. Group A comprises Scotland, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Uganda, and the USA, whereas Group B consists of Ireland, the Netherlands, the UAE, Vanuatu, and Zimbabwe.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt