A seventh place finish with seven wins in 21 matches in the ICC Women's Championship, followed by decent performances in the ICC Women's Qualifier 2017 in Colombo ensured Pakistan Women of a fourth place finish in Sri Lanka and the last spot for the ICC Women's World Cup 2017.
Ringing in changes for the main draw, Pakistan has a side with a mix of youth and experience. The team will also have a new coach in Sabih Azhar.
Keeping the conditions in England in mind, it has brought in Asmavia Iqbal and Kainat Imtiaz to give the side more pace bowling options. Sana Mir, the skipper, and the young Nashra Sandhu, the highest wicket-taker in the qualifier with 17 scalps, will be leading the spin duties; Bismah Maharoof, Javeria Khan and Nahida Khan will form the crux of the batting, with the young Ayesha Zafar adding some firepower.
The team came across a resurgent England side when it visited last summer, but should have gained valuable experience of the conditions in the country from that tour.
In the qualifier, Pakistan was strong against the lower-ranked teams such as Bangladesh and Ireland, but struggled against the likes of India. It was bundled out for just 67 against its neighbour, and also went down to Sri Lanka by five wickets to finish fourth in that competition.
PREVIOUS WORLD CUPS:
Pakistan has been part of three World Cup campaigns so far: 1997, 2009 and 2013. Its best performance came in the 2009 edition, where it won two matches, first against Sri Lanka by 57 runs in the group stage, and then in the Super Six stage against West Indies by 57 runs, finishing sixth. Coincidentally, these are only two wins it has managed in 16 attempts at the World Cup stage. The 2013 World Cup was underwhelming for Pakistan, as it got knocked out in the first round losing all its matches.
The current No. 1 Pakistani batter according to the latest ICC ODI Rankings for women, Javeria Khan has had an interesting career, to say the least. From being a genuine offspinner, who could bat a bit, to holding the record for the highest individual score in a One-Day International for her country – 133 not out against Sri Lanka – is quite a leap. It came after she was banned from bowling in 2010, due to a suspect action. She has thus far scored 1959 runs in 76 games at a healthy average of 30.60, and picked up 13 wickets. She was also the highest run scorer in the qualifier with 299 runs in seven games.
SQUAD: Sana Mir (capt), Ayesha Zafar, Bibi Nahida, Marina Iqbal, Bismah Maroof, Javeria Khan, Syeda Nain Fatima Abidi, Sidra Nawaz (wk), Kainat Imtiaz, Asmavia Iqbal Khokhar, Diana Baig, Waheeda Akhtar, Nashra Sandhu, Ghulam Fatima, Sadia Yousuf
25 June: Pakistan Women v South Africa Women in Leicester
27 June: England Women v Pakistan Women in Leicester
2 July: India Women v Pakistan Women in Derby
5 July: Pakistan Women v Australia Women in Leicester
8 July: New Zealand Women v Pakistan Women in Taunton
11 July: West Indies Women v Pakistan Women in Leicester
15 July: Pakistan Women v Sri Lanka Women in Leicester