Pakistan team celebrating a wicket. ©PCB

Keeping in line with Pakistan Cricket Boards (PCB) initiative to further improve and develop the women’s game, Iqbal Imam, former first-class cricketer has been appointed as the batting coach for the national women’s team.

Imam is set to join the national squad in Karachi where, starting on April 9, the women’s teams training camp will begin, under Head Coach Mark Coles. Following the conclusion of the camp, Imam will embark on his first assignment as batting coach on Pakistan’s tour of South Africa. The team will depart on April 29 and will play three ODIs against the hosts on May 6, 9 and 12, before a five-match T20 series which will serve as preparation for the T20 World Cup in 2020. The ODIs will be part of the ICC Women’s Championship, where valuable points will be up for grabs. Pakistan currently occupies the sixth spot on the table, trailing South Africa by one point. This upcoming series will be crucial for both sides, with direct qualification for the Women’s World Cup in 2021 at stake.

Imam, in his 15-year long first-class career, played 147 matches. A left-handed top-order batter, he amassed a total of 6,249 runs, at an average slightly above 30. During this time, he scored nine centuries and 32 half-centuries.

He has been part of PCB’s coaching staff since 2007, currently serving as the regional Head Coach of Karachi. Also on his resumé is his role as assistant coach for Pakistan’s ‘A’ team, Pakistan Under-19 and Women’s Under-17.

Following his appointment, PCB Managing Director Wasim Khan said, “Iqbal is a hardworking and committed batting coach who fits perfectly in the PCB’s vision for women’s cricket, which is to provide them with skilled individuals who will add significant value to both their development and performances.

“Iqbal’s appointment is also testament to the PCB’s commitment to reward and promote all the top performers, while also creating merit based coaching opportunities for talented Pakistani coaches.

 “The tour to South Africa is an important one as our team will like to build on their success against the Windies and move up the points table. In addition to this, this challenging tour also provides a chance for the Pakistan girls to prepare for next year’s ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020.

 “These are exciting times for women cricketers, and the PCB is fully committed to supporting the growth of the women’s game in Pakistan.

 “I also want to acknowledge and put on record excellent contribution of our outgoing batting coach Andy Richards. He worked tirelessly with the girls and the improvements have been visible, we wish him the very best in his future endeavours.”

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