Pakistan women set to host crucial series


DUBAI: Pakistan’s clash against the Windies in Dubai, and Sri Lanka’s visit to South Africa will have big ramifications in the ICC Women’s Championship table, reported ICC.

Pakistan host the Windies in Dubai and South Africa play at home against Sri Lanka in what could be crucial series of the ICC Women’s Championship, which decides the direct qualifiers for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand in 2021.

The coming month will, in fact, see focus on the championship like never before with two more series featuring teams in the upper tiers of the points table – Australia host New Zealand and India host England in series starting on 22 February. These teams are the front-runners to make the cut – New Zealand and four other top teams get direct entry to the premier event – but for now, before getting into the action themselves, they will be following these matches in UAE and South Africa keenly.

Pakistan and the Windies play the opening match of their three-ODI series at the Dubai International Stadium with the remaining two scheduled to be played at the ICC Academy in the same vicinity, knowing that each match could count towards qualification. Just one point separates the two teams after nine matches each, with the Windies in fifth position with nine points and Pakistan next on the table with eight.

Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof sees an opportunity in the series while Windies captain Stafanie Taylor, the second ranked all-rounder in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s ODI Player Rankings, wants her side to be as formidable in ODIs as they are in T20Is.

Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof: “This championship is vital, as it determines and affects our future settings and qualification in the World Cup. So, hopefully this series will better our position on the points table. I don’t think we have an edge over them with respect to venue. We have played in Sharjah, not in Dubai. The field conditions vary quite a lot. So playing in Dubai in new conditions will be a challenge as well.

“If we manage to put enough runs on the board, good pressure can be put with our bowling as it had been quite effective in curtailing them in previous matches. Both formats are quite different but from the T20s we got a lot of encouragement psychologically because we could have won the series had we not stretched one game to the Super Over. So, that scenario elevated our morale and will be really helpful in the ODIs.”