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Sports

January 27, 2020

Pakistan's 'born-athlete' Diana Baig demands facilities for Gilgit-Baltistan athletes

Sports

Mon, Jan 27, 2020
Geo.tv/via Author

KARACHI: "Born-athlete" Diana Baig on Sunday demanded newer, better facilities for aspiring athletes in Gilgit-Baltistan, the region she hails from, in order for Pakistan to "see more talent coming forward" from the mountainous regions.

It won't be wrong to call her Pakistan's Ellyse Perry. Just like the Australian sportswoman, the "born-athlete" Diana Baig has also represented her country in two sports internationally — cricket and football.

Having grown up in the picturesque Hunza Valley, she and her friends played football and cricket on the streets in makeshift arenas surrounded by beautiful mountains. While she had the support to participate in sports, a lack of facilities was a major hurdle in her way to achieving her dreams.

In an interview with Geo.tv, Baig said: "We don't have many facilities there and that's why girls start playing proper sport only when they're in cities for education. If you provide proper facilities then you'll see more talent coming forward.

"There is no dearth of talent from Gilgit to Baluchistan. We just need proper facilities to train and play the sport," she added.

Baig, who is known for being a role model for many other girls in the valley, noted that although being seen as a hero was amazing, it came with additional responsibility.

"My growth as a multi-sport athlete has encouraged other girls to opt for playing sports at the professional level. They see me as a hope," she said. "They now say that if Diana Baig can achieve this all, then why can't other girls.

"People expect from you to do something for them in the field. They follow your trends and try to emulate you. So it's an honour but [it also] brings great responsibility on one's shoulder," the young sportswoman highlighted.

Baig is one of the rare athletes who are active in multiple sports. She was recently seen in action in the national championship of two sports, football and cricket; however, when the two clash, her priority is cricket.

The 24-year-old athlete is part of Pakistan's World T20 squad and she's hopeful of positive results from the team.

"We have worked really hard in the camp. We are keeping in view the possible condition and preparing according to that. I have no doubts that we will produce some memorable results in the world cup," she said.

"My target in the mega event in Australia is to contribute towards the team's success and place myself among the top performers in the event," she said.