Sana Mir

Pakistan legend Sana Mir named as the ambassador of ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier

Former Pakistan skipper Sana Mir has been unveiled as the ambassador of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier 2024.

ICC named Sana Mir, who represented Pakistan in 226 international games, 137 of them as skipper, as the ambassador of the Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier on Wednesday, 24 April.

Sana will keep a keen eye on the tournament which will see 10 sides battle it out for two spots at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2024. The teams have been divided into two groups of five, with the top two from each group entering the semi-finals. The winning semi-finalists confirm a trip to Bangladesh for the T20 World Cup later this year.

Sana was delighted with her role as the ambassador of the tournament, believing that besides being a route to qualify for the T20 World Cup, the Qualifier will also provide a competitive cricketing spectacle.

“Other than the big qualification opportunity for two teams, the tournament will provide excellent exposure to the Associate Member teams and their players,” Sana said. “The women’s game has become more and more competitive in recent years and the 10 nations involved in the Qualifier possess a number of quality players.”

As a veteran of Pakistan cricket, Sana featured in a number of ICC tournaments for her country, including the qualifying events. Her finest moment came in the 2008 ICC Women’s Qualifying Series for the Women’s Cricket World Cup, where Pakistan went all the way to the finals. Sana won the joint Player of the Series award for the tournament.

The former Pakistan captain hopes to share this expertise and her experience with the players.

“My aim is to talk to the various teams and players during the Qualifier and help guide them on how to deal with the pressure of these events and what it takes to succeed. Pakistan had a great record in these events, and I in particular have fond memories of the 2008 edition of the 50 over World Cup qualifier event that I played.”

Discussing the participating teams, Sana also thinks that the gap between the top-ranked sides and Associate Members is now closing due to ICC Pathway events, and there is a potential for an upset in the Qualifier.

“The players are playing a lot more and getting decent exposure through their domestic tournaments and the ICC pathway programme. For women’s cricket to grow further, the regional events and the Qualifier are incredibly important. While Sri Lanka and Ireland will probably be favourites to qualify alongside Thailand, teams like Scotland, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, and Zimbabwe surely have the potential to cause major upsets and make their way through to the semis and eventually to the final as well.”

Pakistan's Sana Mir, an ambassador for the sport

Sana said that she would be keenly following the fortunes of Zimbabwe, given her mentorship experience with their youth side last year during the ICC U19 Women's T20 World Cup in South Africa.

“I am particularly keen to see the progress of some of the Zimbabwe players whom I worked with in my mentorship role during the inaugural ICC Women’s U19 T20 World Cup in South Africa last year.”

While discussing the power hitters, she mentioned Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu as a player to watch out for in the tournament.

“The power game has surely become important in women’s cricket as well and players like Sri Lankan captain Chamari Athapaththu have created a big legacy with their swashbuckling style.

“I am looking forward to seeing her unleash some big hits and big scores in the tournament.”

The former captain added that the sides needed to watch out for conditions in UAE, which would help the slower bowlers.

“It will also be interesting to see how the teams cope with the conditions in Abu Dhabi, the pitches in the UAE can help slow bowlers at times and the hot weather will also need to be taken into consideration.”

The tournament starts on Thursday, 25 April in Abu Dhabi. The games will be played at the Tolerance Oval and Zayed Cricket Stadium.

ICC Women's T20 World Cup, 2024ICC Women's T20 World Cup QualifierNewsSana Mir 01/05/1986