Leg-spinner Aroob Shah to lead Pakistan in inaugural edition of ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup

Leg-spinner Aroob Shah on Wednesday was named as Pakistan’s captain for the inaugural edition of the ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup, to be played from January 14 to 29 in South Africa next year.

In the squad selected by chief selector Asmavia Iqbal, Aroob, 18, who has featured for Pakistan senior women’s team in two ODIs and five T20Is, will have the services of hard hitting right-handed batters Eyman Fatima and Shawaal Zulfiqar.

She will also be a part of the spin attack featuring Rida Aslam (left-arm spinner), Quratulain Ahsen (leg-spinner), Anosha Nasir (off-spinner) and Mahnoor Aftab (off-spinner). The squad also includes four fast bowlers in Areesha Noor, Haleema Azeem Dar, Haniah Ahmer and Zaib-un-Nisa.

“I want to congratulate the 15 players who have made into the squad for the inaugural U19 event. I remain confident that this side has the capability and potential to do well in the mega event.”

“These players were selected after a rigorous and robust process and I want to congratulate the coaches who have worked tirelessly hard on the skills of the players to get them ready for the event.”

“The tournament will also help us to increase our pool of players which will ultimately help in forming a strong and more competitive squad at the senior level,” said Asmavia in an official statement.

The 15-player squad and five reserve players were selected after their performances in this year’s Women U19 T20 Tournament held at Lahore Country Club in Muridke from August 13 to 22.

Later, the top performers of the six-team tournament had undergone two skills and training camps staged at the Inzamam-ul-Haq High Performance Centre, Multan in September and later, at the Hanif Mohammad High Performance Centre, Karachi in November.

To further assess their fitness and skills, the U19 players had also featured in the first phase of the T20 Women’s Cricket Tournament held at Lahore’s LCCA Ground from 26 November to 2 December. The players were part of Team Conquerors, one of the three participating teams in the event.

Pakistan are in Group B of the competition alongside England, Rwanda and Zimbabwe, with all matches to be held in Potchefstroom. They will open their campaign on January 15 against Rwanda, followed by matches on January 17 and 19 against England and Zimbabwe respectively.

In the 16-team tournament divided into four groups and set to host 41 matches in Benoni and Potchefstroom, top three teams from each group will progress to the Super Six round, where teams will be pooled into two groups of six.

The top two teams from each group will then progress to the semi-finals, which will be played on January 27 at JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom. The final will take place at the same venue on January 29.

Pakistan squad: Aroob Shah (Captain), Aliza Khan, Anosha Nasir, Areesha Noor, Eyman Fatima, Haleema Azeem Dar, Haniah Ahmer, Laiba Nasir, Mahnoor Aftab, Quratulain Ahsen, Rida Aslam, Shawaal Zulfiqar, Warda Yousaf, Zaib-un-Nisa and Zamina Tahir

Reserve Players: Aqsa Yousaf, Dina Razvi, Maham Anees, Muskan Abid and Tahzeeb Shah

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