Former captain Bismah Maroof has pulled out of the 2023 Asian Games over child-carrying rules as Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced a 15-member squad for the T20 tournament on July 25.
The 32-year-old will not be allowed to carry her infant daughter at the Games due to new rules and regulations.
Pakistan captain Nida Dar expressed her disappointment at missing out on the experience of Maroof at the Asian Games. She said in a statement:
“It's disheartening to hear that Bismah Maroof won't be available to join the team due to the protocol of the organizers. As known her for years, I understand how much representing Pakistan means to Bismah.”
Head of Women's Cricket, Tania Mallick added:
“The team is unfortunate to miss out on the services of Bismah Maroof for this event as she would not have been able to accompany her infant daughter to the Games village due to the regulations in place.”
For the uninitiated, Maroof has the experience of playing 124 ODIs and 132 T20Is, scoring 3110 runs and 2658 runs, respectively. She has registered 30 half-centuries in international cricket. The part-time leg-spinner has also scalped 80 wickets in internationals.
With Maroof out of the tournament, Diana Baig makes her return to international cricket after recovering from an injury she sustained against Australia in January this year. Meanwhile, Anoosha Nasir and Shawaal Zulfiqar earned maiden call-ups to the national team.
For the uninitiated, Pakistan will feature in the event from the quarterfinals owing to their T20I rankings. The quarterfinals will be played from September 22 to 24, with the semifinals and final scheduled to be played on September 25 and 26, respectively.
It’s worth noting that the Pakistan women's team has already won gold medals in the last two editions of the Asian Games in China (2010) and South Korea (2014).
Pakistan squad for 19th Asian Games
Nida Dar (captain), Aliya Riaz, Anoosha Nasir, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Muneeba Ali, Najiha Alvi, Nashra Sundhu, Nataliya Parvaiz, Omaima Sohail, Sadaf Shamas, Shawaal Zulfiqar, Sidra Amin, Syeda Aroob Shah, and Umm-e-Hani.
Player Support staff: Mark Coles (head coach), Saleem Jaffer (bowling coach), Mauhtashim Rashid (fielding coach).