Bismah Maroof and Javeria Khan speak ahead of the Women’s T20 World Cup

The Pakistan national women’s team reached Noosa Heads, Queensland, Australia yesterday ahead of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, which begins later this month.

As part of their preparations for the all-important tournament, Pakistan Women will play West Indies Women in three warm-up matches on 7, 9 and 11 February at Tewantin Noosa Cricket Club.

Prior to their departure from Karachi, Bismah Maroof, the captain of the side who will be featuring in her seventh shorter format’s World Cup, and Javeria Khan, the former Pakistan captain, discussed the squad line-up, which comprises experience of senior players and exuberance of youth, and the excitement in the team around the tournament.

Bismah Maroof, who will lead Pakistan for the first time in a World Cup, said: “As a captain I am leading Pakistan for the first time in the World Cup. I am excited for it as leading your nation in a global tournament is a different responsibility. The team has been performing well and I hope that the same pattern will continue in the World Cup.

“We have a very young squad. There are three to four senior players and in such tournaments there is an added responsibility on the experienced players to deliver match-winning performances. Even our youngsters have that spark to play good cricket and deliver.

“If we take a look at our victories in the recent past, they have been because of the team’s combined efforts. We have an exciting pool of cricketers and I am very hopeful that if we bring out our top game on a particular day, we will produce positive results. 

“My message to the fans is to keep supporting us. We will play our best cricket and produced best possible results.”

Javeria Khan, who has the experience of 97 T20Is, said: “You have to control your nerves in the World Cup as this is a big event and almost every game is a knock out. I would suggest you [Bismah Maroof] to enjoy this role as one don’t get such opportunities often. The team is young and it has that spark.

“As an opener my job is to provide profound starts to the team and build on them. I will look to facilitate Muneeba Ali, a young batter who is making her comeback, when I walk into the middle with her.”

“I am hopeful that we will do well in the World Cup.”

The Bismah Maroof-led side begin their ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 journey on 26 February against the West Indies Women. They take on England Women on February 28 after which they play South Africa Women and Thailand Women on 1 and 3 March.

Pakistan squad for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup:

Bismah Maroof (captain), Aimen Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Ayesha Naseem, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Iram Javed, Javeria Khan, Muneeba Ali, Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Nawaz (wicketkeeper) and Syeda Aroob Shah

 Officials: Syed Iqbal Imam (head coach), Saleem Jaffer (bowling coach), Amir Iqbal (fielding coach), Gemaal Hussain (strength & conditioning coach), Dr Riffat Asghar Gill (physio), Aisha Jalil (team manager) and Zubair Ahmed (analyst).