Bismah Maroof in action for Pakistan. ©ICC

Bismah Maroof and Iqbal Imam are all set to continue as captain and coach respectively for Pakistan until next year’s ICC Women’s T20 World Cup. The showpiece event is being held in Australia from February 21 to March 8, 2020.

Pakistan are fresh off a T20I and ODI series against Bangladesh which saw cricket return to Pakistan. The hosts won the T20I series 3-0 and drew the two-match ODI series 1-1. Their next assignment is against England in Malaysia, where they will play three ODIs and T20Is each. There will be six points up for grabs in the ODI series.

Maroof who went past 2000 T20I runs recently has been at the helm of the squad since 2016 when she took over the T20I side. She was handed the reins of the ODI team in 2017, following Pakistan’s diastrous World Cup campaign.

“I congratulate Bismah Maroof and Iqbal Imam on their appointments,” said Urooj Mumtaz, chair of Pakistan’s selection panel. “It is the dream of every cricketer to lead their nation in a world event and I am certain that Bismah is a good fit for the job. She has been at the helm for some years and she has grown as a leader.”

Maroof, who has led Pakistan in 15 ODIs and 33 T20Is, said she was excited to continue to lead Pakistan and is most looking forward to the T20 World Cup next year. “It is truly an honour for me to be continuing as Pakistan’s captain and I look forward to leading the side in the next year’s T20 World Cup,” she said.

Imam, who took over following the resignation of Mark Coles, has a vast experience of 147 first-class matches under his belt. He was named the batting coach of Pakistan team in April and was elevated to the position of interim head coach a few months ago.

“It is certainly an honour for me to be appointed as a head coach for the women’s side,” Imam admitted. “Women’s cricket in Pakistan is improving day-by-day and we have a lot of talented girls emerging. Our team has gotten off to a decent start this season by beat Bangladesh in T20I series and leveling the ODI series.”

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