LAHORE: Pakistan women’s team skipper Bismah Maroof and her Bangladesh counterpart Salma Khatun hoped for an exciting contest as the trophy for the T20 International series between the two countries was unveiled here at the Gaddafi Stadium on Thursday.
The three-match series begins at the Gaddafi Stadium on Saturday.
At the trophy unveiling ceremony, Bismah said she would not take Bangladesh as a weak team noting they won the Asia Cup last year and it was studded with seasoned players.
However, the captain said, Pakistan were well prepared for the series though they would be without their star player Nida Dar, who would not be available because she had been selected for the Women’s Big Bash League in Australia.
According to Bismah, it was also an achievement of Pakistan women’s cricket that Nida had been selected in an international league (WBBL), adding Nida’s experience in the league would be helpful for the national team in future.
She said former captain Sana Mir was also not available for the first T20 against Bangladesh as she was in the US to receive the Asia Game Changers Award.
Bismah praised Pakistan’s former head coach Mark Coles, who had returned back to his country New Zealand a fortnight ago, leaving the job, citing family responsibilities.
“Petty things are part of life but the presence of Coles brought considerable improvement in the team’s performance and we all learnt from his coaching,” Bismah said.
Speaking on the occasion, Salma thanked Pakistan for inviting her team and excellent hospitality.
Salma said she had played in Karachi.
“I have had lot of pleasant memories of that tour and I hope my team’s stay in Lahore will also be enjoyable and they would go back successfully,” the Bangladesh skipper said.
Salma said it would be a tough series for her team, noting Bangladesh were going to face a stronger and better-ranked Pakistan side on their own soil.
She however expected that good competitive cricket would be played irrespective of the results.
Meanwhile, both the teams also practised at the Gaddafi Stadium.
Published in Dawn, October 25th, 2019