LAHORE-As part of its efforts to develop a strong talent pool of women cricketers and increase the participation of teenage girls, the Pakistan Cricket Board will hold nationwide trials in collaboration with six Cricket Associations next month.

The trials will be conducted by highly qualified coaches, including former Test and first-class cricketers, for three age brackets: U19, in which players who are born on or after 1 September 2003 are eligible; emerging, players falling in the age bracket of 19-24 years; and seniors, for players between the ages of 25 and 28.

To ensure the maximum participation of the girls and young women, the players who are part of the PCB’s regional academy system are not eligible for these trials. This development comes after the PCB announced that around 100 women cricketers will feature in the 2022-23 domestic cricket season. These trials will further help in nourishing the talent pool and strengthening the bench strength across all rungs with the ICC U19 T20 Women’s World Cup scheduled to be played in South Africa in February 2023 and a jam-packed national women’s side schedule.

Head of Women’s Cricket Tania Mallick said: “To continue the growth and evolution of women’s cricket in the country, it is very important that the game is made accessible to teenage girls and young women across the country. This initiative will help us in digging up the talented cricketers, whom we can groom and provide necessary facilities and formal training to make them become better at the game. “I want to thank our six Cricket Associations, who have jumped on board for this initiative and have shown keen interest to develop and promote women’s cricket in their jurisdictions.”

Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof said: “When I started to play cricket, there were not enough avenues for girls to take up this sport. This initiative takes cricket to the doorstep of every aspiring cricketer, and bodes well for the development of women’s cricket in the country. “There is a strong interest in young girls for this game and with proper coaching, training and facilities, they will surely do wonders for the country.”

SCHEDULE

May 12 Balochistan

May 6-9 Central Punjab

May 9-11 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

May 10-17 Northern

May 18-28 Sindh

May 10-12 Southern Punjab