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Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced the two women’s squads for the upcoming Women’s League exhibition matches to be held ahead of the HBL PSL 8 matches in Rawalpindi from 8 to 11 March. The exhibition matches will feature three teams: Amazons, Super Women, and Blasters. The women’s matches will begin at 2 pm, followed by the men’s matches at 7 pm.
The Amazons will be led by Bismah Maroof and will include a star-studded line-up comprising players from Ireland, England, and Australia. Ireland’s Laura Delany, England’s Lauren Winfield-Hill, Maia Bouchier, and Tammy Beaumont, and Australia’s Tess Flintoff will be part of the Amazons squad. On the other hand, Nida Dar will captain the Super Women, featuring Chamari Athapaththu from Sri Lanka, Danni Wyatt of England, Jahanara Alam of Bangladesh, South Africa’s Laura Wolvaardt, and Lea Tahuhu of New Zealand.
The exhibition matches are a soft launch of the Pakistan Women’s League, which is tentatively planned for September. The teams will consist of 10 foreign players from seven countries along with Pakistan’s 20 elite players, four U19 players, and two emerging cricketers.
The 36 cricketers have been divided into two sides, with the playing line-ups to include a maximum of four and minimum of three foreign players and a minimum of one emerging or U19 player. Eight of the ten foreign players featured in the recently held ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 in South Africa. Delany and Athapaththu captained Ireland and Sri Lanka, respectively.
South Africa’s Laura Wolvaardt is one of the biggest stars in women’s cricket. She was selected in the Team of ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 and is the sixth-ranked batter in the world. Similarly, Danni Wyatt is a well-known name in women’s cricket, having scored 1,776 ODI and 2,369 T20I runs. Wyatt is the second most capped T20I player with 143 matches, eight matches behind India’s Harmanpreet Kaur.
In the ICC rankings for batters, Athapaththu is ranked 11th and is followed by Wyatt (16th), Beaumont (44th), and Delany (61st). Tahuhu is the highest-ranked foreign bowler in eighth position, followed by Jahanara (60th).
Pakistan’s high-ranked players in the field include Bismah Marioof (33rd), Nida Dar (38th), and Aliya Riaz (56th) (all batters), Sadia Iqbal (19th), Nida Dar (21st), Nashra Sandhu (26th), Anam Amin (37th), and Tuba Hassan (39th) (all bowlers).
Tess Flintoff and Tammy Beaumont missed out on last month’s event. While 19-year-old Flintoff is knocking at the doors of international cricket, 31-year-old Beaumont is already an established star cricketer. She has represented England in seven Tests, 103 ODIs, and 99 T20I, scoring a total of 5,493 international runs with 10 centuries.
The Women’s League exhibition matches promise to be an exciting event, with the participation of leading players from around the world. It is a significant step towards the development of women’s cricket in Pakistan and is expected to inspire young girls to take up the sport.
The Women’s League Exhibition Matches Squads:
Amazons – Bismah Maroof (captain), Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Areesha Noor, Eyman Fatima, Fatima Khan, Fatima Sana, Ghulam Fatima, Gull Feroza, Kainat Imtiaz, Laura Delany (Ireland), Lauren Winfield-Hill (England), Maia Bouchier (England), Nashra Sundhu, Sadaf Shamas, Tammy Beaumont (England), Tess Flintoff (Australia) and Umm-e-Hani
Super Women – Nida Dar (captain) Aimen Anwar, Chamari Athapaththu (Sri Lanka), Danni Wyatt (England), Iram Javed, Jahanara Alam (Bangladesh), Laura Wolvaardt (South Africa), Lea Tahuhu (New Zealand), Muneeba Ali, Natalia Parvaiz, Omaima Sohail, Sadia Iqbal, Shawaal Zulfiqar, Sidra Amin, Sidra Nawaz, Syeda Aroob Shah, Syeda Masooma Zahra and Tuba Hassan
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