It’s been years in the making, but the ball is finally in their court. Yes, Pakistani women in sports have been making rounds for their excellent delivery and performances. There was a time when nobody could imagine that women in Pakistan would be breaking the barriers and making name in sports. This is because for Pakistani sportswomen, the challenge is much bigger than women in any other place. They have to face not just the usual gender stereotypes, but also societal and religious pressures. However, some amazing women have shined in sports despite taboos and hindrances.
Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Dr Geoffrey Shaw recently met the Pakistan National Women’s Cricket team in Karachi and wished them good luck ahead of the ICC T20 Women’s Cricket World Cup in Australia. Starting on Friday 21 February, reigning champions Australia will host 10 teams and 23 matches across six cities.
Speaking at the event, the High Commissioner said, “It is a great privilege to meet the Pakistan National Women’s Cricket Team. I wish the team a fantastic stay in Australia. The players will receive a very warm Australian welcome. We expect some fabulous cricket.”
High Commissioner Shaw also highlighted that it will be a big year for women’s cricket in Australia. “Australia is about to become the first cricketing nation to close the gender prize money gap. At this year’s T20 World Cup, Cricket Australia will top up prize money won by the women’s team to deliver parity with their male counterparts,” Dr Shaw stated.
Furthermore, the High Commissioner invited fans and visitors from Pakistan to be part of the T20 World Cup and #FILLTHEMCG campaign. “We are holding the final of the World Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), the biggest cricket stadium in the world, with a bold ambition to set a record for attendance at a women’s sporting fixture,” he added.
The current record for attendance is 90,185, set at the final of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup in the USA. “We aim to beat that,” he exuded.
Present at the reception were players selected for the T20 World Cup, the Chair of the Pakistan national women’s selection committee Urooj Mumtaz, the team’s coaches and senior members of the Pakistan Cricket Board.
The Pakistan team departed for Australia on 31st January, 2020 and will play its first match against West Indies on 26th February, 2020 at Manuka Oval. Here is wishing them a good win!
–– Mubashir Ahmed