On Monday, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) declared that the women’s national cricket team will tour South Africa for three ODIs and three T20Is, which will be played between Jan 20 and Feb 3 in Durban and Pietermaritzburg.
According to the PCB, the series was arranged to help both Pakistan and South Africa prepare for the upcoming assignments, especially Pakistan, which will feature in the July 2021 ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier for the event scheduled to take place in early 2022 in New Zealand.
South Africa have already qualified for the World Cup, along with world champions England, Australia, India and hosts New Zealand, after taking top spots in the 2017-20 ICC Women’s Championships.
With the first ODI on Jan 20 and the third T20I on Feb 3, the series will start and finish in Durban. Under spotlight, all matches will be played. Durban will also stage the second ODI on January 23 before the action will transfer to Pietermaritzburg, where on January 26, 29 and 31, respectively, the third ODI and the opening two T20Is will be played.
The women’s national selection committee has invited 27 cricketers to a training and planning camp to be held at the Hanif Mohammad High Performance Centre in Karachi from 20 Dec to practise and pick the best possible side and in the continuity of the Women’s High Performance Camp and the National Triangular T20 Women’s Cricket Championship
The women cricketers will stay and practise in a bio-secure atmosphere from the beginning of the training camp until the side’s departure for Durban on January 11, in addition to conducting routine testing in accordance with the PCB Covid-19 Protocols.
Prior to joining the camp, each cricketer will require a negative test and another negative test after reporting for the camp before being allowed to integrate with other members of the group.
The first official assignment by head coach David Hemp and bowling coach Arshad Khan will also be the trip to South Africa. While Hemp joined forces in October, in November, Arshad was named. At the training camp, Mohammad Kamran Hussain will be the assistant coach.
This will be the second tour to South Africa by Pakistan’s women’s side within 18 months. Pakistan and South Africa have starred in one of the most thrilling, hotly fought and exciting women’s series to date in May 2019.
The three ODIs of the ICC Women’s Championship finished in a 1-1 draw when the third ODI on May 12 ended in a tie after Nashra Sandhu scored seven runs off the last two deliveries to help Pakistan cross 265 for nine in 50 overs. Pakistan took a 2-1 lead in the five-match T20I series before South Africa bounced back to clinch the series 3-2.
Investing in sport
In these tough times, it is important for women’s cricket that we continue to invest in the game, otherwise all the efforts and hard work that have recently gone into building the image, improving the quality and creating fan awareness and following will be wasted,” said Urooj Mumtaz, chief selector of Pakistan women’s team.
“I am delighted that despite having already qualified for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2022, Cricket South Africa has agreed to host us for a full tour. This is yet another indicator and reflection of our relationship with the member boards that are willing to assist and support each other in any way possible,” she said.
The 27 probables for the South Africa tour are (18-player squad expected to be announced on Dec 31, 2020 at the National Stadium press conference room early afternoon):
Aiman Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Ayesha Naseem, Ayesha Zafar, Bismah Maroof, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana Khan, Iram Javed, Javeria Khan, Javeria Rauf, Kainat Imtiaz, Kaynat Hafeez, Maham Tariq, Muneeba Ali, Nahida Khan, Najiha Alvi, Nashra Sandhu, Natalia Pervaiz, Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Rameen Shamim, Saba Nazir, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Amin, Sidra Nawaz and Syeda Aroob Shah
Jan 11 – Departure for Durban
Jan 13-19 – Training, practice and intra-squad matches, Durban
Jan 20 – 1st ODI (d/n), Kingsmead Stadium, Durban
Jan 23 – 2nd ODI (d), Kingsmead Stadium, Durban
Jan 26 – 3rd ODI (d), Pietermaritzburg Oval, Pietermaritzburg
Jan 29 – 1st T20I (d), Pietermaritzburg Oval, Pietermaritzburg
Jan 31 – 2nd T20I (d), Pietermaritzburg Oval, Pietermaritzburg
Feb 3 – 3rd T20I (d/n), Kingsmead Stadium, Durban.