Maroof-led Pakistan squad named for New Zealand series


Bismah Maroof will begin her tenure as captain of the Pakistan ODI team on October 31, when she leads a 14-member squad against New Zealand. She takes over from Sana Mir, who was sacked in the aftermath of a highly publicised spat with the team management but was nevertheless included to play the three-match series.

This will be Pakistan’s first assignment since a winless World Cup campaign in June and July. It was upon returning from England that Mir said she did not wish to “continue with the current setup” and followed that threat by skipping the training camp organised for the players ahead of the series against New Zealand.

The PCB then removed Mir from captaincy – while the women’s wing general manager Ayesha Ashar – believed to be the person Mir wanted out – was also sacked. With the selection committee also shown the door, this squad was picked by the junior selection committee, led by Basit Ali.

The squad has been heavily revamped from the one that went to the UK, with five of those players not making the cut. Iram Javed, who replaced Maroof when she was injured at the World Cup, retains her place and allrounder Javeria Khan has been nominated vice-captain.

The series against New Zealand, which also comprises 4 T20Is, will be played in Sharjah. It is also the first – and potentially only – one with New Zealander Mark Coles as head coach of Pakistan. He was appointed on an interim basis specifically for this series, although the possibility of his getting a long-term deal remains.

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