ISLAMABAD: Omaima Sohail was the only fresh face among 17 women players who were awarded six-month (January 1 to June 30) contracts by the Pakistan Cricket Board on Monday.
This shows that there is dearth of upcoming women cricketers in the country.
PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani has also expressed his concern over the failure to produce women talent for national teams and promised to take measures to help increase the strength of women cricketers.
Fareeha Mehmood, Ghulam Fatima, Maham Tariq and Rameen Shamin have lost their contracts. Sidra Amin and Aliya Riaz have been promoted from Categories D and E to Categories C and D, respectively. Muneeba Ali Siddique has slipped from Category C to D.
Fresh contracts have been awarded following an appraisal process in which the player performances in the six-month contract period were taken into consideration by a four-person committee. The committee comprises Haroon Rashid (director Domestic Cricket Operations), Jalaluddin (chair of the selection committee), Mark Coles (head coach) and Asmavia Iqbal (member Pakistan women’s selection committee).
In the second half of 2018, Pakistan featured in the ICC Women’s Championship, ICC Women’s World T20 in the West Indies and visited Bangladesh for ODI and T20I series.
“I want to congratulate all the women cricketers who have been awarded the central contracts and wish them well,” said Haroon Rashid.
“I know the four players who have not been awarded contracts will be disappointed, but the new contracts are related to performances. I am confident that these players will continue to work harder to reclaim their places in the contract list.”
Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof thanked the PCB, when she said: “It is always a matter of pride to be handed a central contract. I am sure our players are happy and looking forward to doing their best in the coming months. Our aim being to build a fine team and bench-strength, these contracts certainly contribute to that purpose.”
In the ICC women’s ODI player rankings, Javeria Khan is the highest-ranked Pakistan batter ranked 24th, followed by Nahida Khan (25th), Bismah Maroof (28th), Sana Mir (34th) and Nida Dar (69th).
Sana is the world’s highest-ranked bowler, while Nashra Sandhu is the next highest-ranked bowler in 37th position. Nida is 45th, Bismah 59th, Anam Amin 69th and Aiman Anwer 80th.
In the ICC women’s T20I player rankings, Javeria is the highest-ranked Pakistan batter at 14th position. She is followed by Bismah (18th), Sana (43rd), Nahida (47th) and Nain Abidi (64th). Ninth-ranked Nida is the highest-ranked Pakistan bowler, followed by Nashra (10th), Anam (19th), Sana (25th) and Aiman (65th). Nida is Pakistan’s highest-ranked T20I all-rounder in 16th position.
The Pakistan women’s side is ranked seventh in both the ODIs and T20Is. Pakistan’s international commitments in the first half of 2019 include home series against the Windies and away series against South Africa in the ICC Women’s Championship, while Bangladesh are also scheduled to pay a return visit in March.
List of contracted players: Category A: Bismah Maroof, Javeria Khan, Nahida Khan, Sana Mir.
Category B: Nashra Sandhu, Nida Rashid, Sidra Nawaz.
Category C: Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Diana Baig, Omaima Sohail, Sidra Amin
Category D: Aimen Anwar, Ayesha Zafar, Kainat Imtiaz, Muneeba Ali Siddiqui, Natalia Pervaiz.