KARACHI: Pakistan women’s cricket team will return today from a marathon tour of the UK after sharing the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier title with Sri Lanka in Ireland.
The squad remained unbeaten in the event and booked their berth in next year’s World Twenty20 in Bangladesh by reaching the final which was washed out due to rain.
Earlier on tour, Pakistan had also levelled their Twenty20 series with England besides defeating England Academy and Ireland.
Team manager Ayesha Ashar defined the tour that lasted over a month a highly constructive one for her side.
“It was a confidence boosting assignment,” Ayesha told The Express Tribune from Dublin.
“We faced different opponents during the tour that gave valuable experience to the players. Playing against England was particularly a very good experience for the entire team.
“England are a high profile side and beating them in a Twenty20 game [series levelled 1-1] lifted the team’s morale.”
Ayesha also praised her team’s performance during the qualifier.
“Overall it was a team effort that helped us in the event. Reaching the finals without losing any game proved that this squad is progressing well.
“If you see the Twenty20 rankings, our players have started entering slots of the top ten players,” said the manager while referring to Bismah Marof’s sixth [all-rounder] and Sadia Yousuf’s fifth [bowler] position.”
However, Ayesha expressed her disappointment regarding the abandoned final.
“We became favourites to win the final after scoring 112 and our batting line-up did well to reach there. It is unfortunate that the game could not be finished.”
Ayesha praises resigned batting consultant
Basit Ali, who resigned as the team’s batting consultant after the tour’s completion was commended for the effort he put in.
“Definitely, the presence of an individual with heavy credentials made a difference,” said Ayesha. “Basit worked hard with the team just like the rest of the coaching staff.
“Last time [at the World Cup], Basit did not get much time, but now he got ample opportunity to succeed in raising the quality.”
Ayesha added that the women’s squad was determined to do fare well in the World Twenty20 by making tough preparations for the event.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2013.
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