ISLAMABAD: Ahead of the Women's League exhibition matches, Pakistan women's cricket team senior all-rounder Nida Dar Tuesday hoped the T20 league will give women's cricket a new identity in the country.
“A lot of people don’t know who the players are in the team and I am sure with a tournament like Women's League, we will get the recognition we deserve. It will be an opportunity for us to tell the world who we are and what we have to offer,” the cricketer said, while speaking in an exclusive interview with Geo News.
The all-rounder agreed that events like the Women's League in Pakistan will also convince society that cricket can be picked as a profession by women in the country. However, she insisted that women's cricket must also be considered an equal brand as men’s cricket.
“I am not talking about equal wages, but we need to be treated as an equal brand,” she asserted.
Nida is excited about the soft launch of the league with three exhibition matches scheduled to take place in Rawalpindi.
The experienced cricketer added that this league will provide players with an opportunity to earn much-deserved recognition.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is planning to start its own women's league later this year and ahead of the league, the PCB has organised three exhibition matches in Rawalpindi on the sidelines of the Pakistan Super League (PSL). These matches are considered to be the soft launch of the Women’s League.
“I am very excited about the launch of the league. Not only me but everyone is excited about it and these three exhibition matches are something we have been asking for a long time,” Nida said.
She added that these matches will provide women cricketers with the opportunity to enhance their awareness of the game, and their skills and learn new things.
"I believe that this league will be beneficial for upcoming talent,” the veteran cricketer said.
The 36-year-old made her debut for Pakistan in 2010 and is nick-named 'Lady Boom Boom' for her flamboyant style of batting. In 2019, she became the first Pakistani to be signed by a Women Big Bash League side.
Speaking about her experience of playing in BBL, Nida said that it helped her a lot and it is the reason why she has always advocated for the launch of the women's league in Pakistan.
The all-rounder said that there is no dearth of talent in Pakistan and the only thing the players need is exposure and the opportunity to play alongside the best of the world.
“This league will help us produce new talent for Pakistan women's team, just like PSL did for our men’s team,” Nida hoped.
She added the league will not only pave the way for Pakistani girls but also for those from other countries who do not get too many opportunities.
"It will be a landmark step,” said the senior cricketer, who has represented Pakistan in 99 WODIs and 130 WT20Is.
Nida mentioned that these three exhibition matches and the league in Pakistan later will be a launching pad for many cricketers.
Replying to a question, Nida said that Pakistan's women's cricket team has come a long way in the last 10 to 15 years. She added that now things are much better than what they were when she began playing cricket.
“We are still behind others and we need to work really hard. People usually criticise us for not winning enough matches, but they must not ignore where we have come to this point and what we have in our bags when compared to other teams,” she said.
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