If the premature retirement of Ayesha Naseem was not enough, the Pakistan women’s team was dealt another blow on Friday, as former skipper Bismah Maroof pulled out of the Asian Games because of the event’s “no travelling with children” policy.
Pakistan, thus, lost two of their leading performers before the upcoming Games.
Bismah declined to be part of the Asian Games squad after the organisers refused permission to participating nations to have athletes bring their babies for the Games.
The head of the Pakistan Cricket Board’s women’s cricket wing, Tania Mallick said that it was unfortunate the team would not have the services of Bismah at the Asian Games.
Tania confirmed that Bismah was not named in the squad as she would not have been able to travel with her daughter to the Games village due to the regulations in place.
Talking about the shock retirement of 18-year old all-rounder Ayesha, Tania said she had informed the board that she had left cricket due to personal reasons.
“The PCB respects and understands her decision to quit the game for personal reasons. We wish her the best in future endeavours.” It has been reported that Ayesha has decided to give up cricket to strictly follow her religion but there are also speculations she might have retired after getting a marriage proposal where her in-laws were not in favour of her playing cricket.
The youngster was considered a budding talent having already represented Pakistan in the white-ball formats.
Before the Asian Games, the Pakistan women’s team will feature in the home series against South Africa comprising three T20Is and three ODIs (part of ICC Women’s Championship 2022-25) in Karachi from September 1 to 14. The squad for the bilateral series will be announced in due course.
Pakistan have won gold medals in the last two editions of the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China in 2010 and Incheon, South Korea 2014, and will be aiming for a hat-trick when they feature in this year’s event, scheduled to take place from September 19 to 26.
The event will be played in the T20 format.
Pakistan Squad: Nida Dar (captain), Aliya Riaz, Anoosha Nasir, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Muneeba Ali, Najiha Alvi, Nashra Sundhu, Nataliya Parvaiz, Omaima Sohail, Sadaf Shamas, Shawaal Zulfiqar, Sidra Amin, Syeda Aroob Shah and Umm-e-Hani.
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