BIRMINGHAM: Pakistan women’s cricket team coach David Hemp believes his players are ready to show their mettle in their opening match of the Commonwealth Games against Barbados at Edgbaston on Friday despite his side’s preparations having been hampered by rain.

Cricket is returning to the Commonwealth Games for the first time since 1998 but it will be the first time women’s cricket will be part of the Games, with the T20 format to feature, and Pakistan will also face arch-rivals India and world champions Australia in Group ‘A’.

The top two teams from the two groups advance to the semi-finals and Pakistan come into the Games shorn of match-practice after just one of their four matches during the tri-series in Ireland — which also features Australia — was completed. Rains also affected the national team’s camp in Islamabad earlier this month.

“Unfortunately the matches in Ireland got curtailed due to the weather but we did manage to complete all practice sessions,” Hemp was quoted as saying in the Pakistan Cricket Board news release.

“The players experiencing different conditions in the UK was a very valuable exercise.

“Since arriving in Birmingham we have completed one practice session which was last night at Edgbaston and the players are really excited about the event. The game on Friday is what we have our eyes on.

The match against Barbados will be a big challenge as they are a formidable unit as most of the players make-up the West Indies side. It is a great opportunity to play at a venue like Edgbaston and we hope the weather will be kind to us and we get to play all three pool games in the coming week.”

Published in Dawn, July 29th, 2022

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