LAHORE, Dec 16 (APP): After conclusion of the ICC Women’s Championship ODI series, the focus has now shifted to the shorter format of the game with Pakistan and England women locking horns in three T20Is at Kinrara Oval in Malaysia from Tuesday (tomorrow).
With the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia just two months away, the series provides both the teams an opportunity to iron out their permutations and combinations, said the information made available by the Pakistan Cricket Board here on Monday.
After having won the ODI series comprehensively, England will enter the series with their tails up.
Despite having lost a three-match T20I series at home against Australia Women 2-1, England, ranked second in the ICC Women’s T20I rankings, have had an impressive 2019 – winning eight of the 10 matches.
The Heather Knight-led side registered sweeps over India Women and Sri Lanka Women earlier in the year, before beating West Indies Women 1-0 at home.
Pakistan, having made three changes in their squad from the one that played the three one-dayers, will hope that the change in format also brings a change in their fortunes while taking inspiration from their 3-0 series win at home against Bangladesh Women in October.
The Bismah Maroof-led team, seventh in the ICC Women’s T20I rankings, have won six of their 11 matches this year and enter the series after securing a 3-0 whitewash against Bangladesh.
Pakistan started off the year by losing to the West Indies women in Karachi 2-1 – the second match of the series was won by the West Indies in the Super Over. In their second series of the year, they were beaten by South Africa women 3-2 in a five-T20I series.
Pakistan and England have come face-to-face in the format on 10 occasions in which England came out victorious nine times, while Pakistan won the 2013 encounter at Loughborough.
Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof on the eve of the match said “ This series provides us a good opportunity to prepare for the T20 World Cup next year. England are a quality side and we enter this series at the back of a decent run in T2oIs this year. So, this will be an exciting series.
“We are looking to end this year on a high after whitewashing Bangladesh in Lahore as it will help us carry momentum to Australia.
“There are three changes in the line-up from the one that played the ODI series. This will help us to have a look at all the players in contention for the T20 World Cup next year.”
England captain Heather Knight said: “Pakistan are a much-improved side from when we played them in 2016. It is great for the game to see them improve, but we’ve got a job to do and these T20Is are important preparation for the T20 World Cup.
“There were some positives to take from the ODI series. Sarah Glenn bowled well and a lot of the batters stood up and got big scores.
“There’s definitely stuff to improve on and we want to keep getting better, plus everyone is fighting to get into the World Cup team so there’s a lot to look forward to over this series.”
Bismah Maroof (captain), Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Ayesha Zafar, Aroob Shah, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Irum Javed, Javeria Khan, Nahida Khan, Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Rameen Shamim, Sadia Iqbal and Sidra Nawaz (wicketkeeper)
Heather Knight (captain), Amy Jones (wicketkeeper), Anya Shrubsole, Danni Wyatt, Fran Wilson, Freya Davies, Kate Cross, Katherine Brunt, Kirstie Gordon, Lauren Winfield, Mady Villiers, Nat Sciver, Sarah Glenn, Sophie Ecclestone and Tammy Beaumont.
17 Dec – First T20I, Kinrara Oval. On-field umpires: Ghaffar Kazmi and Khalid Mahmood Sr., Reserve umpire: Kalidas Visvanadan. Match referee: Mohammad Javed
19 Dec – Second T20I, Kinrara Oval. On-field umpires: Ghaffar Kazmi and Khalid Mahmood Sr., Reserve umpire: Kalidas Visvanadan. Match referee: Mohammad Javed
20 Dec – Third T20I, Kinrara Oval. On-field umpires: Ghaffar Kazmi and Khalid Mahmood Sr., Reserve umpire: Kalidas Visvanadan. Match referee: Mohammad Javed.