PCB chairman Ehsan Mani claims domestic clubs need to ensure women's cricket grows alongside the men's game ©Getty Images

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani claims growing the number of women playing the sport in the country will be an important priority during his tenure.

The former chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC) replaced Najam Sethi in the role following a vote of the PCB Board of Directors earlier this month.

He has expressed his surprised at the small pool of players available to select for the national women’s team and believes this needs to be addressed.

Mani compared the Pakistan’s existing system to neighbours Bangladesh and India.

The 73-year-old believes a focus needs to be placed on adopting similar systems to the two countries, including ensuring male associations in the country seek to develop women’s cricket equally.

"I was quite surprised that the pool of women cricketers in Pakistan is very small, so obviously we have to increase the pool substantially," Mani said.

"One of the main things we have to focus on is that all the men's cricket associations in the country adopt women's cricket equally and develop it in every town, every region.

"India has done it very well, Bangladesh has done it very well.

"We are dealing with a very, very small pool at the moment and this is going to be an important priority for me to develop this.

"We have to try and popularise the game even more in women and children.

"It's already popular but we have to get them to come and play."

Pakistan will be hoping to earn direct qualification to the next edition of the ICC Women's World Cup ©Getty Images
Pakistan will be hoping to earn direct qualification to the next edition of the ICC Women's World Cup ©Getty Images

Pakistan struggled to make an impact at last year’s Women’s Cricket World Cup, losing each of their seven group matches after coming through qualifying.

They were also unable to make it out of their group at the Women’s World Twenty20 tournament a year earlier.

Pakistan narrowly missed out on the final of the Asia Cup earlier this year, with Bangladesh ultimately beating India to secure their maiden title at the event.

India reached the reached the final of the ICC Women's World Cup in 2017, where they lost to England.

Mani is hopeful of building a greater pool of female players in Pakistan, as they seek to improve on their seventh place in the world rankings.

Pakistan are currently ranked fifth in the ICC Women’s Championship, which sees teams play series of three one-day internationals on a home or away basis.

The top three teams will join New Zealand at the 2021 World Cup, while remaining teams will have to play in a qualifying event.