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Series against Bangladesh will be a high-voltage series: Sana

KARACHI: With memories of a cut-throat finale at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon still fresh in her mind, Pakistan women’s cricket team captain Sana Mir predicted a high-voltage series against Bangladesh women’s team during the next ten days.
“People of Pakistan will see how competitive women’s cricket is,” Sana told reporters at the Southend Club in Karachi during a crowded press conference.
“We are not going to take Bangladesh easy. Salma (Khatun) is the world’s number one all rounder and then there are a few other players such as Pinky (Fargana Hoque), Jahanara (Alam), Lata (Mondol) and Rumana (Ahmed) we would like to have our focus on.”
Sana said the Bangladesh series would help in Pakistan’s preparations for their upcoming tour to the Caribbean.
It was also an opportunity for the Pakistan captain to clear the air on talks about her interference in selection matters.
“As a captain, I do give my input. I am very happy and proud of the team selection. We have really good campaigners including both fast and spin bowling all-rounders, good batters and hard hitters. The combination is pretty good and we can hope for good results,” she said in reply to a question.
The Bangladesh series will end a nine-year drought for women’s international cricket in the country as no other team has visited Pakistan since 2006.
“History has been made. Women cricket is revived after a decade,” said General Manager Women’s Wing Shamsa Hashmi. “We hope more sponsors would pitch in after the series to support women cricket.”
Bangladesh captain Salma Khatun thanked the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for inviting her team to come and play in Pakistan.
When reminded about the 17th Asian Games final against Pakistan, a nail-biter which Sana Mir’s side had won by four runs, Salma said: “It was a close match. We have come prepared this time. Pakistan is a strong team; they are ranked fifth in world rankings. We have not played Twenty20 cricket much, but we have improved. We will just try to be competitive.”
Salma added that her team will be looking to keep prolific Sana and Bismah Maroof under check.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh’s team manager Mohammad Shafique-ul-Haque was all praise for the security arrangements put in place by the PCB. “Security is outstanding. It is very impressive. We are proud of receiving such a reception. I would grade it A-plus,” he said.
Pakistan and Bangladesh teams are scheduled to play two T20s (Sept. 30 and Oct 1) and two One-day Internationals (Oct 4 and Oct 6) at the Southend Club ground. The T20s are scheduled to start at 10.00am (PST) and the ODIs at 9.30am (PST).
“Bangladesh is happy to be in Pakistan. We are feeling at home and the way we were welcomed was exemplary. We hope there will be more international cricket in Pakistan very soon,” Salma said.

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