LAHORE-Fatima Sana has been named the captain of the Pakistan cricket team for the upcoming ACC Emerging Women’s T20 Asia Cup to be held in Hong Kong next month.
The national women’s selection committee has unveiled a 14-player squad, featuring four players who participated in the inaugural ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup earlier this year, for the eight-team tournament scheduled from June 12 to June 21. The selection process for the squad involved evaluating performances during the T20 phase of the Pakistan Cup Women’s Cricket Tournament and the emerging camp held in Multan in March.
Fatima Sana, who has represented Pakistan in 31 One-Day Internationals and 24 T20 Internationals, was chosen as the captain after leading the Strikers team, comprising probables for this squad, to victories in all three matches during the above-mentioned tournament. Additionally, she led the Blasters to a successful T20 Championship campaign in Lahore last December.
Pakistan has been placed in Group A alongside Hong Kong, India A, and Thailand A. Their campaign begins on June 13 with a match against Thailand A, followed by matches against Hong Kong on June 15 and India A on June 17. The top two teams from each group will qualify for the semifinals scheduled for June 19, with the final match set to take place on June 21.
Chief Selector Saleem Jaffar expressed his congratulations to all the selected players and expressed confidence in their abilities. “We have some outstanding talent coming up and it was a tough call to select 14 players. I want to tell those cricketers who have not been selected for this tournament to keep their heads high and keep working hard and they will definitely get chances in the upcoming events.
“We have been observing these players since the camp in Multan and we have tested them in different conditions, with their most recent challenge being the three T20 matches against our top international players. “Fatima Sana has displayed some outstanding leadership credentials in domestic tournaments recently, and I am sure she will lead this side with example,” he added.
Fatima Sana, speaking as the newly-appointed captain, said: “It is an honour for me to captain Pakistan in the upcoming tournament. The responsibility of leading the emerging side will definitely help me develop as a cricketer and I am eagerly looking forward to leading my team in this important tournament. These players are full of energy and are excited for the opportunity ahead of them.
“We have had good practice over the last few weeks, and the Pakistan Cup Women’s Cricket Tournament provided us ample match practice against tough sides. Ahead of these matches, we had a healthy discussion as a team amongst ourselves that we have to make the most of these matches, and I am glad how every player stepped up and contributed in each game.”
The team’s pre-tournament camp will commence on Thursday at the Hanif Mohammad High Performance Center and continue until June 8. The squad will then depart for Hong Kong on June 9.
Player support personnel for the team include Aisha Jalil (manager), Mohsin Kamal (head coach), Muhammad Kamran Hussain (assistant coach), Muhammad Usman Shahid (analyst), and Rabia Siddiq (physiotherapist). The national women’s selection committee consists of Asmavia Iqbal, Marina Iqbal, and Mohtashim Rashid.