In a significant development for women’s cricket in Pakistan, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced the appointment of Nida Dar as the new captain of the women’s cricket team. The PCB has also appointed Mark Coles as head coach and Saleem Jaffar as chief selector in a move to invest further in women’s cricket in the country.
The announcement was made by the PCB after the approval of PCB Management Committee Chairman Najam Sethi, who said the appointments have been made in light of the PCB’s vision and strategy to invest further into women’s cricket and upcoming international assignments, including hosting South Africa and tours to Bangladesh and New Zealand for the ICC Women’s Championship 2022-25 fixtures.
The Pakistan women’s team is scheduled to play five bilateral cricket series comprising a total of 15 ICC Women’s Championship 2022-25 ODIs from August 2023 to July 2024. In addition to these 50-over matches, Pakistan will play as many as 17 T20Is, leading up to the 10-team ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Bangladesh and the eight-team ICC Women’s World Cup in India, to be held in 2024 and 2025, respectively.
Nida Dar, who won the PCB Women’s Cricketer of the Year for 2021, replaces Bismah Maroof as the captain of the women’s cricket team. She is one of the most experienced players in the country, having represented Pakistan in 130 T20Is and 99 ODIs. Dar is also the leading wicket-taker in T20I women’s cricket with 126 wickets to her name.
Nida was also a member of the Pakistan side that won the Asian Games gold in 2010 and 2014 and became the first Pakistan women’s cricketer to feature in Australia’s women’s franchise cricket in 2019. In the ICC Women’s Rankings, Nida is presently ranked 32nd, 24th, and ninth in the ODI batters, bowlers, and all-rounders’ categories, respectively. In T20Is, Nida is the 38th-ranked batter, 21st-ranked bowler, and seventh-ranked all-rounder.
Mark Coles has previously served as Pakistan women’s cricket team head coach from 2017 to 2019 and during his time, the side achieved major results, including a fifth finish in the ICC Women’s Championship 2017-2020 that paved the way for the side to feature in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2022. Sana Mir became the most successful ODI spinner in the world, Javeria Khan and Bismah Maroof were named to lead a multi-nation Women’s Global Development Squad, and Nida Dar became the first Pakistan woman player to earn a contract in the WBBL during his tenure.
The changes in the women’s cricket team reflect the PCB’s commitment to developing the sport and producing quality players. Najam Sethi expressed his confidence in the newly appointed team, saying that the combination of Dar, Coles, and Jaffar would attract and help young cricketers fulfil their dreams of becoming top-quality international cricketers, and ensure that the side emulates their previous performances and achievements.
In her statement after the announcement, Nida Dar expressed her honor at being appointed as the captain of the Pakistan women’s cricket team, calling it a huge responsibility. She thanked the PCB for entrusting her with this responsibility and promised to take the team forward. She also expressed her gratitude to Bismah Maroof for her services as the captain of the team, saying that she had done a fantastic job and hoped to continue her legacy and lead the team with the same passion