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Fatima Sana returns to Pakistan women’s squad for New Zealand tour

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LAHORE: Fatima Sana, Omaima Sohail and Shawaal Zulfiqar stage a comeback in the Pakistan women’s team as the national selection committee headed by Saleem Jaffar announces a 17-member squad for the New Zealand tour scheduled to take place later next month.

The side will play three T20Is in Dunedin and Queenstown from 3-9 December, before taking on New Zealand in three ICC Women’s Championship 2022-25 ODIs from 12-18 December in Queenstown and Christchurch.

Iram Javed, who was part of the 15-member squad for the Bangladesh tour this month, was omitted from the squad.

The experienced Omaima Sohail comes into the Pakistan women’s squad after an all-round performance for Pakistan A in the recently held T20 tri-nation series and bilateral series at home.

18-year-old Shawaal Zulfiqar, who made her international debut against South Africa in September this year, makes a comeback after topping the batting charts in the tri-series with 106 runs including one half-century.

Right-arm fast bowler Fatima Sana, who was ruled out of the bilateral series against Bangladesh due to injury, has recovered and is available to the side for the six white-ball matches.

The 17-member Pakistan women’s squad will assemble in Karachi on Saturday, 18 November and will undergo a four-day camp in Karachi at the Hanif Mohammad High Performance Centre. The team will depart for New Zealand from Karachi via Dubai in the wee hours of 24 November.

Chief Selector Saleem Jaffar: “Given the challenges our batters faced in Bangladesh, the selection committee have made strategic changes for the New Zealand tour.

“Omaima Sohail and Shawaal Zulfiqar’s consistent performances for Pakistan A recently have earned them a well-deserved spot in the squad, addressing the concerns we identified in the previous series in our batting department.

“Looking at the conditions in New Zealand, we have also focused on strengthening our fast bowling department. With the return of Fatima Sana, we are hopeful her experience and skill set will be invaluable, particularly in the challenging conditions we expect in New Zealand.”

Pakistan Women’s squad for New Zealand tour

Nida Dar (captain), Aliya Riaz, Bismah Maroof, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Ghulam Fatima, Muneeba Ali (wk), Najiha Alvi (wk), Nashra Sundhu, Natalia Parvaiz, Omaima Sohail, Sadaf Shamas, Sadia Iqbal, Shawaal Zulfiqar, Sidra Amin, Umm-e-Hani and Waheeda Akhtar

Player support personnel: Nahida Khan (manager), Mauhtashim Rashid (interim head coach), Saleem Jaffar (bowling coach), Taufeeq Umar (batting coach), Muhammad Asfand Yar (strength and conditioning coach), Syed Nazir Ahmed (media manager), Rifat Asghar Gill (physiotherapist) and Zubair Ahmed (analyst)

Series schedule of Pakistan Women vs New Zealand Women

3 Dec – 1st T20I, Dunedin

5 Dec – 2nd T20I, Dunedin

9 Dec – 3rd T20I, Queenstown

12 Dec – 1st ODI, Queenstown (ICC Women’s Championship)

15 Dec – 2nd ODI, Christchurch (ICC Women’s Championship)

18 Dec – 3rd ODI, Christchurch (ICC Women’s Championship)

READ: Wahab Riaz named chief selector of Pakistan men’s cricket team

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