The Pakistan Cricket Board declared on Tuesday that Ayesha Naseem, an 18-year-old batter, is quitting from all forms of competitive cricket owing to “personal reasons.” The PCB has named Nida Dar as the new skipper, and this would be her first full-time stay as the team’s leader.

On Sunday, it was rumoured that Naseem, an explosive right-hander, had opted to retire for religious reasons, but PCB required 48 hours to confirm the news. Although she stated that she retired for “personal reasons,” it was widely assumed that she did it mostly for religious reasons.

As a result, she will not be part of Pakistan’s women’s squad for the 2018 Asian Games, which will be held in Hangzhou, China, from September 23 to October 8.

“We wish Ayesha Naseem the best of luck in her future endeavours, as the PCB understands and respects her decision to leave the game for personal reasons,” PCB women’s cricket chief Tania Mallick said in a statement.

Ayesha has played four One-Day Internationals and 30 T20 Internationals for the team, including two appearances at the ICC T20 World Cup (2020 and 2023).

She was known for her hard-hitting abilities, particularly down the order, with a strike rate of 128.12 in the shortest format, the highest of any Pakistani batter of her gender.

She had captained the team against South Africa earlier this year in the T20 World Cup in South Africa.Left-arm spinner Anosha Nasir, batter Shawaal Zulfiqar, leg-spin-bowling all-rounder Syeda Aroob Shah, medium-pacer Diana Baig, bowling all-rounder Fatima Sana, and all-rounder Natalia Pervaiz are also in the Hangzhou team.
“Our squad for the Asian Games represents the future of women’s cricket in Pakistan,” said PCB women’s chief selector Saleem Jaffer. I expect the players to do well in the event, given they have a combination of developing talent and seasoned warriors.”

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