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Sidra Amin, Sidra Nawaz return to Pakistan's T20I side for upcoming Women's Asia Cup

Lahore, Sep 7 (IANS) Opener Sidra Amin and wicketkeeper Sidra Nawaz on Wednesday earned recalls to Pakistan side for the Women’s T20 Asia Cup in Sylhet, Bangladesh to be held next month.

The 15-player squad, unveiled by national women’s selector and former Pakistan pacer Asmavia Iqbal, also includes uncapped all-rounder Sadaf Shamas.

There are three changes in the Pakistan squad that featured in the tri-series in Ireland, also including Australia and inaugural women’s T20 event in Birmingham Commonwealth Games in July-August. The players who were in that squad and miss out on Women’s Asia Cup are left-arm spinner Anam Amin, wicketkeeper-batter Gul Feroza and middle-order batter Iram Javed.

“I want to congratulate the 15 players selected for the all-important Asia Cup next month. These players have been selected after observing their performances in the recent practice matches in Lahore. Sidra Amin has been in good form of-late. She did well in the practice matches and became only the second Pakistan women batter to score two ODI centuries recently. Her presence at the top of the order will instill stability,” said Asmavia.

The first phase of the tournament will be played on a round robin basis following which the top four teams will qualify for the semifinals.

“We have also selected an additional keeper in Sidra Nawaz because of the long duration of the tournament. On these tracks, we need a specialist wicketkeeper as a backup for Muneeba Ali, in case she becomes unavailable.”

“Sadaf Shamas did extraordinarily well in the recent practice matches and we feel this was the right time to elevate her to the national side. I am sure she will prove to be a good addition to the national side. Her ability to bat in the middle order and bowl medium fast makes her a good fit in the side and promises to provide balance to the playing XI whenever she gets her chance,” added Asmavia.

Left-arm orthodox Nashra Sundhu, after missing the tri-series and the Commonwealth Games because of a shoulder injury, is one of the four players on standby in Pakistan. The other three are: Natalia Pervaiz, Umme Hani and Waheeda Akhtar.

The 15-player squad and the reserves will undergo a 10-day camp at Lahore Country Club, Muridke from September 18 to 27 and the national side will fly out for Bangladesh on September 28.

“I had detailed conversations with the players who have been dropped. The decision to leave them out was taken considering their recent form and the conditions our team will encounter. They understand the areas they need to work on and I am sure they will continue to put in the hard yards and stage a strong comeback,” concluded Asmavia.

Following David Hemp’s decision to not to extend his contract, the Pakistan Cricket Board will start the search for the new women’s head coach following the expiration of his contract in mid-October.

Pakistan squad: Bismah Maroof (captain), Aiman Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Ayesha Naseem, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Kainat Imtiaz, Muneeba Ali (wicket-keeper), Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Sadaf Shamas, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Amin, Sidra Nawaz (wicket-keeper) and Tuba Hasan

Reserve players: Nashra Sundhu, Natalia Pervaiz, Umme Hani and Waheeda Akhtar

–IANS

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