These days, cricket is everywhere. PSL has made sure that cricket is all we talk about these days in the media or at our homes and offices. The cricket fever is rising high. But amidst the hyped PSL, there was some not so talked about cricket that was recently played in Karachi but for the greater good of the society.
In the rich 134-year history of Karachi Gymkhana, men and women played cricket together for the first time to raise funds for schoolgirls in Pakistan at the Khel Humari Hai benefit match.
Australian journalist and social media personality Dennis Freedman teamed up with female founded platform KheloKricket to highlight the disparity and attempt to bridge the gap in opportunity for women’s cricket in the country.
They went head to head with Super Daddy Cricket Club, batting first to post a formidable total of 194 on the board. With a mix of Pakistan A and national side women players, the leading wicket takers in the 2nd innings were Maham Tariq and Soha Baig with 2 wickets each. Dennis Freedman was run out for just 10 runs while Kainat Imtiaz put 14 on the board as Super Daddies lost by 40 runs at the end of 22 overs.
Dennis Freedman had tears in his eyes as he narrated what the day’s events meant to him, “I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of today, to give back to a country I have fallen in love with and above all to be able to create some form of positive impact for the girls and the sport we all love”.
Breaking barriers, KheloKricket has been diligently working on the development of women’s cricket for the past four years. Hadeel Obaid, Founder KheloKricket shared, “I see a positive trend, an uptick of acceptance of women in sports and we hope to build on that momentum and keep it going”.
National team players Kainat Imtiaz and Maham Tariq expressed that events like these would create awareness and encourage more women to adopt sports as a profession. Kainat believed that Pakistan has all the talent but lack of opportunity has resulted in a lot of talent being wasted.
Boundaries were pledged, participating players chipped in and cricket fans watching online sent their donations with 100 per cent of all proceeds going to buying cricket equipment for school girls. Given the lack of funding and infrastructure for women cricketers in the country, the aim is to make women’s cricket teams in schools a norm and not a novelty.
FemGames by Azhar Mahmood, a UK based organisation focused on increasing female participation in sport along with sports management company Magnus Sports also supported the initiative.
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