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Update Javeria Khan to lead Pakistan women in South Africa
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[Image: javeria-will-continue-to-fill.jpg]

Ayesha Zafar, Kainat Imtiaz, Nahida Khan and Nashra Sandhu have been recalled to the Pakistan side for the upcoming tour of South Africa. The 17-member squad announced for the three T20Is and three ODIs will be led by Javeria Khan in the absence of skipper Bismah Maroof, who has withdrawn from the series due to personal reasons.

The squad announcement came after an 11-day training camp in Karachi and the side will now leave for Durban on January 11. This will be the first international assignment for Pakistan since the 2020 World T20. The first two ODIs will be played at Kingsmead before they move to Pietermaritzburg for the third ODI and two T20Is. They will return to Durban for the final T20I.

Nahida Khan, the veteran batter, finished the National Triangular T20 Women's Cricket Championship as the leading run-scorer with 154 runs at an average above 51 from four outings, while senior pace bowling allrounder Kainat Imtiaz was adjudged the player of the tournament. Left-arm spinner Nashra Sandhu finished as the joint highest wicket-taker in the tournament.

Urooj Mumtaz, the chair of the selection panel, saod, "The squad has been selected after closely observing the players in the recent High Performance and probables camps and the National Triangular T20 Women's Cricket Championship. We have seen significant improvement over the last three months in the intent and mindset of the players and the team is shaping up well for the upcoming series. The squad is well balanced and possesses a good blend of youth and experience for what promises to be an exciting tour.

"Javeria Khan is an experienced campaigner and has the desired understanding of the game which is necessary to lead the national women's team. She has undertaken this responsibility in the past and I am certain she will rise to the occasion and inspire the players.

"Our last tour to South Africa in 2018 produced high-quality cricket and we are looking forward to yet another competitive tour, which will be instrumental for the new head coach David Hemp as well as in our preparations for the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup Qualifiers.

"Selecting a squad is never a stroll in the park and naming 17 players for this tour was no different. David and I have identified key areas of the game where these players must continue to improve. We will be having honest conversations with the players who were unable to make it this time, as they remain an integral part of our plans."

The 17-player squad will continue to prepare for the tour in the bio-secure environment at the ongoing camp in Karachi.

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