Former captain and senior off-spinner Sana Mir was on Monday dropped from Pakistan’s 15-strong squad for the women’s T20 World Cup in Australia next month.
The women’s selection committee didn’t include Sana in the squad, citing performances in the international and domestic events as well as the team combination considering conditions Down Under.
Chief selector Urooj Mumtaz said it was tough to drop Sana but her recent performances in the T20 format were not up to the mark.
“Jotting down the squad for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup was a tough task as many players had staked a claim in the side. Although the players who have been left out will be disappointed and heart-broken, this, however, should act as a motivation for them to comeback more strongly,” Mumtaz said.
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The selection of 15-year-old Ayesha Naseem and 16-year-old Aroob Shah, Urooj said, should act as motivation for all the budding youngsters.
Sana, 34, who has captained Pakistan in both the ICC 50-over and T20 World Cups and has appeared in 120 ODIs and 102 T20 internationals, was not available for any comments.
The off-spinner had taken part in the recent triangular series held by the Pakistan Cricket Board as a selection process for the World T20. She has taken a total of 240 international wickets in both formats since her debut in 2005.
The most capped woman player from Pakistan featured in both the ODI and T20 series at home against Bangladesh in October-November but then took a break from the assignment against England in Malaysia in December.
Captain Bismah Maroof said she wanted Sana in the squad but had to respect the decision of the majority.
Urooj said the Pakistan’s performance graph has been on the rise and felt the T20 World Cup will serve as a perfect opportunity to the unit to showcase its talent as “we aim to continue to move women’s cricket forward and look towards the future”.
The selectors have recalled Muneeba Ali and Aimen Anwar. Muneeba last played for Pakistan in November 2018. Muneeba scored a hundred and three fifties in the triangular series in Karachi.
Pakistan women will depart for Australia on January 31 and will play three warm-up matches against the West Indies on February 7, 9 and 11.
SQUAD: Bismah Maroof (c), Aimen Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Ayesha Naseem, Diana Baig Fatima Sana, Iram Javed, Javeria Khan, Muneeba Ali, Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Nawaz (wk), Syed Aroob Shah.
OFFICIALS: Syed Iqbal Imam (head coach), Saleem Jaffer (bowling coach), Amir Iqbal (fielding coach), Gemaal Hussain (strength & conditioning coach), Dr Riffat Asghar Gill (physio), Aisha Jalil (team manager) and Zubair Ahmed (analyst).