Pakistan make changes for Women’s World Cup

Pakistan Women have rung in the changes, starting from a new coach, for their Women’s World Cup 2017 campaign.

Sabih Azhar, who played first-class cricket in the 1980s and ’90s, replaced Kabir Khan, the former Test player and Afghanistan men’s coach, as head coach.

According to PTI, Kabir, who had been brought in before the World Cup Qualifier in Sri Lanka in February, had resigned after the tournament. Until last week, however, the Pakistan Cricket Board had rejected reports of his resignation.

Azhar is the fourth to be in charge of the team in recent times, after Mohtashim Rasheed, Basit Ali and Kabir.

Sana Mir will continue to lead the side, which has six changes from the one that ensured qualification for the main tournament in England and Wales, starting June 24.

Sidra Nawaz, the wicketkeeper, returned to the squad after injury forced her withdrawal from the qualifiers. Anam Amin, the left-arm spinner, who was one of the team’s best performers in the World T20 last year, however, misses out.

Asmavia Iqbal, the medium-pacer; Diana Baig, the allrounder; Marina Iqbal, who had dropped out of contention since the West Indies tour in 2015; and Kainat Imtiaz, the medium pacer, who played the last of her four ODIs for Pakistan back in early 2015, were recalled, giving the team more pace bowling options.

Waheeda Akhtar is the lone new name in the 15-member squad.

Youngsters Aiman Anwar, Muneeba Ali, Maham Tariq and Rabiya Shah, as well as Aliya Riaz miss out.

Pakistan play West Indies and Australia in their two practice matches before the tournament.

Squad: Sana Mir (capt), Ayesha Zafar, Bibi Nahida, Marina Iqbal, Bismah Maroof, Javeria Khan, Syeda Nain Fatima Abidi, Sidra Nawaz (wk), Kainat Imtiaz, Asmavia Iqbal Khokhar, Diana Baig, Waheeda Akhtar, Nashra Sandhu, Ghulam Fatima, Sadia Yousuf

(Courtesy Wisden India)