Nida named captain, Coles reappointed coach in Pakistan women’s cricket shake-up
Nida Dar has been appointed as the Pakistan women’s team captain, Mark Coles has been confirmed as the head coach while former Test cricketer Saleem Jaffar has been named as the chair of the Women’s Selection Committee in key appointments.
The appointments have been made in light of the PCB’s vision and strategy to invest further into women’s cricket and keeping in mind the upcoming international assignments, including hosting South Africa and tours to Bangladesh and New Zealand for the ICC Women’s Championship 2022-25 fixtures.
Overall, in an 11-month period from August 2023 to July 2024, Pakistan women’s team is scheduled to play five bilateral cricket series comprising a total of 15 ICC Women’s Championship 2022-25 ODIs. In addition to these 50-over matches, Pakistan will play as many as 17 T20Is. These ODIs and T20Is will lead to the 10-team ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Bangladesh and eight-team ICC Women’s World Cup in India, which will be held in 2024 and 2025, respectively.
Najam Sethi: “I want to congratulate Nida, Mark and Saleem on their appointments. Nida is a seasoned and highly-respected player, Mark has a proven track record in women's cricket coaching and Saleem brings with him wealth of international experience and knowledge.
“We are confident this combination will not only attract and help young cricketers to fulfill their dreams of becoming top-quality international cricketers, but will also ensure the side as a whole emulates their previous performances and achievements.
“I remain confident under their supervision and guile of Nida, Mark and Saleem, Pakistan women’s cricket will grow and flourish.”
Nida won the PCB Women’s Cricketer of the Year for 2021 and replaces Bismah Maroof, who stepped down from captaincy following the ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2023 in South Africa. Nida is one of the most experienced players in the country, having represented Pakistan in 130 T20Is and 99 ODIs.
She is also the leading wicket-taker in T20I women’s cricket with 126 wickets to her name.
Nida was also a member of the Pakistan side’s that won the Asian Games gold in 2010 and 2014 in Guangzhou, China, and Incheon, South Korea. In 2019, she became the first Pakistan women’s cricketer to feature in Australia’s women’s franchise cricket.
In the ICC Women’s Rankings, Nida is presently ranked 32nd, 24th and ninth in ODI batters, bowlers and all-rounders’ categories, respectively. In T20Is, Nida is the 38th ranked batter, 21st ranked bowler and seventh ranked all-rounder.
“I am honored to have been appointed as the captain of the Pakistan women's cricket team. It is a huge responsibility, and I am excited to lead the team in the upcoming events. I want to thank the PCB for entrusting me with this responsibility and will do my best to take the team forward.
“I also want to thank Bismah Maroof for her services as the captain of the team. She has done a fantastic job, and I hope to continue her legacy and lead the team with the same passion and commitment.
“The upcoming season of women’s cricket is going to be a tough one. But we are fortunate to have some young exciting talent in our pool of players, which I am confident will significantly improve during the course and also help the side to produce strong performances.
“As a captain, my objective remains to inspire and mentor these young players to become quality cricketers. I will be extremely satisfied and content if we first break and then cement our place in the upper half of the ICC Women’s Championship before slowly working our way into the top-three.”
Coles previously served as Pakistan women’s cricket team head coach from 2017 to 2019 and during his time, the side achieved major results, including a fifth finish in the ICC Women’s Championship 2017-2020 that paved the way for the side to feature in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2022.
Also during his time, Sana Mir became the most successful ODI spinner in the world, Javeria Khan and Bismah Maroof were named to lead a multi-nation Women’s Global Development squad and Nida Dar became the first Pakistan woman player to earn a contract in the WBBL.
Present members of Coles’ coaching team are Mohtashim Rasheed (fielding coach), Taufeeq Umar (batting coach) and Saleem Jaffar (bowling coach).
“I am grateful to the PCB for giving me yet another opportunity to work with the talented Pakistan women’s team. It has been a privilege to work with such a talented group of players and I look forward to the exciting times ahead as we aim to improve our previous performances and achievements.
“We have a lot of potential in the team, and I look forward to helping the players to give their best and achieve success on the international stage.”
Saleem Jaffar will head the selection panel, which also includes Asmavia Iqbal, Marina Iqbal and Mohtashim Rasheed.
Saleem has had a few instincts with the women’s side, with the last being as interim head coach at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup South Africa. As an international cricketer, Saleem took 36 wickets in 14 Tests and 40 wickets in 39 ODIs from 1986 to 1992.
“These are exciting times to work in women’s cricket as not only a lot of competitive cricket is lined-up, but we have in our pool some young but extremely talented and skilled cricketers, who have all the ingredients to become top-ranked international players. It is our collective responsibility to help them achieve their career objectives and targets, and as chair of the selection committee and bowling coach, I look forward to this challenge.”
Pakistan women’s team upcoming bilateral series
- Aug/Sep 2023 – South Africa tour to Pakistan (three ODIs & three T20Is)
- Oct/Nov 2023 – Pakistan tour to Bangladesh (three ODIs & three T20Is)
- Nov/Dec 2023 – Pakistan tour to New Zealand (three ODIs & three T20Is)
- Feb 2024 – West Indies tour to Pakistan (three ODIs & five T20Is)
- Jul 2024 – Pakistan tour to England (three ODIs & three T20Is)