Bismah Maroof-led Pakistan are hoping to carry forward the winning momentum gained in the T20I series as they take on Sri Lanka in the first of the three ICC Women’s Championship ODIs at the Southend Club, Karachi today.
The Pakistan-Sri Lanka series marks the beginning of the new ICC Women’s Championship 2022-25 cycle which is the qualification pathway for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2025. Two more teams (Bangladesh and Ireland) have been added to the championship taking the number of participating teams to 10.
This is the first-ever ICC Women’s Championship series to be played in Pakistan. The hosts produced a quality performance last week to sweep the three-match T20I series at the same venue and after two days of intense training and practice session, Pakistan are ready to make an impression in the 50-over format in familiar playing conditions.
Sri Lanka however enjoy an historic edge over their hosts in the ODI format having won as many as 21 out of the 30 matches played between the two sides to date. Pakistan though have won the last three ODI encounters between the two sides, the Bismah-led tourists recorded a 3-0 sweep of the 2018 series played in Dambulla.
The last time the two sides competed in an ODI in Pakistan was in December 2005 with Sri Lanka winning both Asia Cup encounters. This series is the first bilateral ODI series between the two sides in Pakistan.
Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof: “After a dominating performance in the T20Is against Sri Lanka, we are now focused on delivering our best in the ODI series which is a part of the ICC Women’s Championship. I am pleased that two more teams have been added to the championship. This step from the ICC will help promote the women’s game in Bangladesh and Ireland besides providing them direct qualification opportunities.
“Our aim like the rest of the sides would be to earn a direct spot in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2025. The ODI squad for the series is a good blend of experience and youth. We have a number of experienced batters in Sidra Amin, Nida Dar, Alia Riaz and myself.
“Bowling is our traditional strength, Anam Amin did a great job for us in the T20Is and besides her we have a number of quality spin bowling options. We also have a very capable pace attack led by Fatima Sana and Diana Baig.”
Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu: “The performance in the T20I series was disappointing as we failed to win a match. The ICC Women’s Championship fixtures are vital for all sides so we want to put behind the T20I performances and focus on winning the ODIs. This is a new format and a fresh tournament for us so we will try to execute our plans properly as gaining maximum points is each side’s aim and we will be focusing on the same.
“We have to try and play positive cricket, we have some plans and hopefully we can execute them well in the series. It is important for us to improve as we are at number 10 in the rankings so we need to gain enough points to jump up a spot or two.”
Meanwhile, the three matches will begin at 9:30am with the toss at 9:00am. PTV Sports will broadcast the matches live while the series live stream will be available on the PCB YouTube channel.
Pakistan ODI squad:
Bismah Maroof (captain), Aiman Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Ghulam Fatima, Gull Feroza, Muneeba Ali Siddiqui (wicketkeeper), Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Sadaf Shamas, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Amin and Sidra Nawaz (wicketkeeper).
Sri Lanka ODI squad:
Chamari Athapaththu (captain), Achini Kulasuriya, Ama Kanchana, Anushka Sanjeewani, Harshitha Samarawickrama, Hansima Karunaratne, Hasini Perera, Inoka Ranaweera, Kavisha Dilhari, Nilakshi de Silva, Oshadhi Ranasinghe, Prasadani Weerakkody, Sachini Nisansala, and Sugandika Kumari.
1 Jun – First ODI
3 Jun – Second ODI
5 Jun – Third ODI