Diana Baig returns to Pakistan squad for South Africa series

Diana Baig returns to the squad from injury as Pakistan get ready to host South Africa at home for a six-match limited over series starting from September 1

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Nida Dar Pakistan

Nida Dar will captain the side © ICC/ Getty

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced a 15-member squad for the white ball series against South Africa that sets to start from September 1. The series marks the return of speedster Diana Baig who sustained a finger injury during the third ODI against Australia in January. This will be the first assignment of Nida Dar as the full-time skipper having taken over from Bismah Maroof.

Shawaal Zulfiqar who was a part of Pakistan's Under-19 squad that competed in the ICC U19 World Cup is a part of the T20I squad. The 18-year-old batter has also bagged a place in the Asian Games squad which was announced earlier. Along with her, uncapped wicketkeeper-batter Najiha Alvi is also named in the shorter format.

Syeda Aroob Shah, who featured in the ICC T20 World Cup 2020, makes her way back into the T20I squad. The leg spinner also led Pakistan in the U19 World Cup. Allrounder Natalia Parvaiz will feature in the T20I side after almost five years. Parvaiz who last played in October 2018 and is also the part of reserves for the ODI leg. The 26-year-old off-spinner Umm-e-Hani, who made her one-day international debut against Ireland, is also part of the T20I squad.

Aimen Anwar, Javeria Khan, Ayesha Naseem (retired), Sidra Nawaz and Tuba Hasan are the known faces who last featured in the ICC T20 World Cup 2023 in South Africa but are left out of the squad. Although Omaima Sohail is a part of the reserves for the shortest format.

In comparison to the squad which toured Australia in January, Waheeda Akhtar and Umm-e-Hani find a place in the ODI squad in place of Kainat Imtiaz and Naseem.

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The players were selected after the discussions between captain Dar and Saleem Jaffar who is the chief selector of the women's selection committee, PCB side in a statement.

"After careful consideration, we have decided to bring Syeda Aroob Shah and Natalia Parvaiz back into the fold in the T20I format. Their recent performances and improved fitness have been remarkable, Umm-e-Hani’s inclusion in both squads is based on her exceptional off-spin abilities. To bolster our fast-bowling department, we have selected Waheeda Akhter in the ODI squad. With Diana Baig and Fatima Sana leading our pace attack, it's essential to have cover for them," Jaffar said.

All the matches will be played in the National Stadium in Karachi. The series will start with the T20 leg from Septemebr 1 to 5 and will be followed by the ODIs from 8th September to14. The three ODIs will be part of the ICC Women's Championship (IWC) for the 2022-25 cycle.

Pakistan T20I squad: Nida Dar (c), Aliya Riaz, Bismah Maroof, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Muneeba Ali, Najiha Alvi (wk), Nashra Sundhu, Natalia Parvaiz, Sadaf Shamas, Sadia Iqbal, Shawaal Zulfiqar, Sidra Amin, Syeda Aroob Shah and Umm-e-Hani

Reserves: Anoosha Nasir, Omaima Sohail and Waheeda Akhtar

Pakistan ODI squad: Nida Dar (c), Aliya Riaz, Bismah Maroof, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Ghulam Fatima, Muneeba Ali, Nashra Sundhu, Omaima Sohail, Sadaf Shamas, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Amin, Sidra Nawaz (wk), Umm-e-Hani and Waheeda Akhtar

Reserves: Najiha Alvi, Natalia Parvaiz and Tuba Hassan