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Bismah Maroof available for 2022 World Cup; Urooj Mumtaz quits as PCB selection chair

Former Pakistan medium-pacer Asmavia Iqbal has been named as the new head of the women's selection panel

Danyal Rasool
Danyal Rasool
28-Dec-2021
Bismah Maroof scoops the ball, India v Pakistan, Women's World T20, Group B, Guyana, November 11, 2018

File photo - Bismah Maroof has been on maternity leave since last December  •  International Cricket Council

Urooj Mumtaz has quit as chair of the women's selection committee, the PCB announced in a statement. The former Pakistan player, who is also a television commentator, left the role "to focus on her professional commitments as well as to pursue other opportunities within the game," the release stated.
Former Pakistan medium-pacer Asmavia Iqbal has been named as the new chief of the selection panel and will be assisted by junior selection committee members Saleem Jaffar and Taufeeq Umar.
"It has been a wonderful experience to head the selection committee and contribute in the growth and progression of women's cricket," Mumtaz said. "I am grateful for the opportunity and thank all my colleagues, while wishing the team the very best in the 2022 international commitments and beyond."
PCB chairman Ramiz Raja expressed his gratitude towards Mumtaz. "You worked diligently in your role for which the PCB is grateful and indebted. We wish you best for your future endeavours."
Mumtaz's resignation is her second such departure this year. In May, she quit her position as Head of Women's Cricket in Pakistan after her multiple roles with the board and in television came under increasing scrutiny. The PCB had begun to take a more uncompromising stance over potential conflicts of interest; Misbah ul Haq had also seen his term as chief selector and coaching position with Islamabad United come to an end while he served as head coach of the men's side. At the time, Mumtaz was replaced as Women's Cricket Head by Tania Mallick, a member of the Pakistan Olympic Association.
Meanwhile, top-order batter Bismah Maroof confirmed she would be available for the ODI World Cup starting March 2022, scheduled to be held in New Zealand. The former Pakistan captain has been on maternity leave since last December and gave birth to a girl in August.
"The past few months have been the best of my life," Maroof said. "Becoming a mother and spending time with my daughter has given me immense pleasure, but it is now time to return to my passion of representing Pakistan at an international stage.
"The maternity leave helped me realise the significance of navigating the balance of raising a child and maintaining my professional cricketing career as I missed being on the field each time I saw the girls in action. I can now resume my ambitions and aspirations of playing for Pakistan and hope to make a useful contribution in our target of doing well in New Zealand."
According to the PCB statement, under the board's maternity policy, if Maroof is selected, "she will be allowed to be accompanied by her dependent child and one support person of her choice."

Danyal Rasool is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @Danny61000