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Pakistan women’s first ever home series against South Africa

LAHORE: South Africa women’s cricket team will undertake their first-ever tour to Pakistan in August/September that will kick-start a busy 2023-24 international cricket season for the Pakistan women’s cricket team.

South Africa will play three T20Is and three ICC Women’s Championship 2022-25 ODIs in Karachi from 1-14 September. Pakistan is presently sitting second on points table with five wins in nine ODIs (three series), while South Africa has played only one series of three ODIs and has six points.

In the inaugural ICC Women’s Championship 2014-16, Pakistan had hosted South Africa in Sharjah with the African side winning the series 2-1. In the 2017-20 edition, Pakistan toured South Africa with the series ending in a 1-1 drawn after the third ODI in Benoni finished in a thrilling tie.

South Africa will be the fourth high-profile national women’s side to tour Pakistan in recent times. In January 2019, West Indies women played three T20Is in Karachi, while in May and November 2022, Sri Lanka and Ireland played ODIs and T20Is in Karachi and Lahore, respectively.

Separately, 11 cricketers from seven countries, including three captains, featured in the three Women’s League Exhibition matches in Rawalpindi in March.

The home series against South Africa will be one of the five ICC Women’s Championship series Pakistan will participate in during the 2023-24 season. In October, Pakistan will travel to Bangladesh, followed by tours to New Zealand in November and England in May 2024. Prior to their tour to England, Pakistan will host the West Indies in April 2024.

This means Pakistan’s women cricketers will be involved in 15 ICC Women’s Championship ODIs and 17 T20Is over the next 12 months. The tally of T20Is is likely to increase as the side is also expected to participate in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, in September. Pakistan women’s side had clinched gold in Guangzhou (2010) and Incheon (2014) when women’s cricket was included in the Asian Games.

With an aim to identify talent and invest in the future, the Pakistan Women’s Wing has also scheduled two emerging series against the West Indies (in October) and Bangladesh (January). Against the West Indies Emerging side, Pakistan will play three 50-over and three T20 matches, while on the tour to Bangladesh, the Pakistan U19 squad will play five T20 matches.

The forthcoming series against South Africa will be all-rounder Nida Dar’s first series as captain. Nida is the one of most experienced players in the country with 99 ODIs and 130 T20Is.

Pakistan captain Nida Dar: “The next 12 months will be incredibly busy for the Pakistan women’s cricket team and I look forward to the upcoming assignments with excitement and anticipation. These matches will contribute significantly in our endeavours to gain experience and exposure, and narrow gap with the front-runners.

“The busy season will start with the home series against South Africa, which will also be my first series as captain. I am hoping to make it a memorable one for myself by not only completing a century of ODIs but also assisting the side to collect valuable ICC Women’s Championship points so that we can finish in the upper half of the draw.

However, to achieve this, we will have to play outstandingly well as South Africa is an experienced side that possesses a number of quality players.”

Suné Luus, who captained South Africa in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 and also featured in the Women’s League Exhibition matches in Rawalpindi: “I am extremely excited to be back to play a bilateral series in Pakistan. Having visited Pakistan earlier this year for the women’s league exhibition matches, I was truly impressed by the warm hospitality and the passionate cricket fans. The players were very friendly, it was really great to be there and experience the country.

“Pakistan is always a very competitive and dangerous side at their own backyard, so I feel it’s going to be a good series.

“The ODIs being a part of ICC Women’s Championship is very important for women’s cricket, and we all are looking forward to it.”

Pakistan’s schedule in the ICC Women’s Championship 2022-25:

vs South Africa (all matches in Karachi)

27 Aug – South Africa team arrival

1 Sep – First T20I v South Africa

3 Sep – Second T20I v South Africa

5 Sep – Third T20I v South Africa

8 Sep – First ODI v South Africa

11 Sep – Second ODI v South Africa

14 Sep – Third ODI v South Africa

Oct/Nov 2023 – Pakistan tour to Bangladesh (three ODIs & three T20Is)

Nov/Dec 2023 – Pakistan tour to New Zealand (three ODIs & three T20Is)

Apr/May 2024 – West Indies tour to Pakistan (three ODIs & five T20Is)

May 2024 – Pakistan tour to England (three ODIs & three T20Is)

Pakistan’s performance in the ICC Women’s Championship 2022-25 to date:

vs Sri Lanka (won 2-1)

vs Ireland (won 3-0)

vs Australia (lost 3-0)

Additional series

Sep 2023 – 19th Asian Games, China

Oct/Nov 2023 – West Indies emerging team tour to Pakistan (three T20s and three one-days)

Jan 2024 – Pakistan U19 tour to Bangladesh (five T20s)

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