Sana Mir and Usain Bolt named ambassadors of ICC T20 WC Qualifier 2024

Dubai: Former Pakistan skipper Sana Mir and eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt have been named as the ambassadors of women’s and men’s ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier 2024.

Sana Mir represented Pakistan in 226 international games, 137 of them as skipper.

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 to ICC. “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.

.“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.”

A long-time friend of West Indies great Chris Gayle, Bolt said he was looking forward to playing a part in the tournament that will run in the USA and Caribbean from June 1-29.

“I am thrilled to be an ambassador for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup,” Bolt told the ICC recently.

“Coming from the Caribbean where Cricket is a part of life, the sport has always held a special place in my heart, and I am honoured to be part of such a prestigious tournament.

“I look forward to bringing my energy and enthusiasm to the World Cup and contributing to the growth of cricket globally.” – IANS

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