Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced a 15-member squad for 2023 Asian Games. The Pakistan board also confirmed that 18-year-old batter Ayesha Naseem has announced her retirement from international cricket citing personal reasons and thus has been left out of the team. Naseem, who was hailed as a "serious talent" by former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram, played four ODIs and 30 T20Is for Pakistan since her debut in March 2020.
Naseem's retirement has left a void in Pakistan's middle order, which will be led by Nida Dar in the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. Dar, who is the second-highest wicket-taker in women's T20Is, has been appointed as the full-time captain, whereas Bismah Maroof has opted out of the Asian Games because of the event's rules and regulations that do not allow athletes to carry their children.
The squad features two uncapped players - left-arm spinner Anosha Nasir and batter Shawaal Zulfiqar - who impressed in the ICC U19 Women's T20 World Cup and Emerging Women's Teams Asia Cup. The squad also includes Diana Baig, who returns to international cricket after recovering from a finger injury.
Pakistan have won gold medals in the last two editions of the Asian Games, held in Guangzhou, China in 2010 and Incheon, South Korea in 2014. They will be aiming for another gold when they feature in this year's event. Pakistan will enter the event from the quarter-finals stage as per the ICC T20I rankings and tournament rules.
Pakistan squad for 2023 Asian Games:
Nida Dar (captain), Aliya Riaz, Anoosha Nasir, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Muneeba Ali, Najiha Alvi, Nashra Sundhu, Nataliya Parvaiz, Omaima Sohail, Sadaf Shamas, Shawaal Zulfiqar, Sidra Amin, Syeda Aroob Shah and Umm-e-Hani