“I had no option but to dress like a boy and practice cricket with them,” says Bisma Amjad

Bisma Amjad is a Karachi-born cricketer, who plays her domestic cricket for Northern Renegades and Karachi. Last year, she hit the headlines, when she was offered financial assistance by Pakistan’s men’s cricket team captain Babar Azam’s father. She was hit on the head and upon being admitted to the hospital it was known that the medical expenses would amount to Rs. 54,000, which the Pakistan Cricket Board refused to pay. Azam’s father expressed his wish to fund Amjad’s medical expenses from his son’s match fees. It was an incredible gesture from Babar Azam and his father. Amjad recovered from the injury but then there was another obstacle in her way of playing cricket.

 

Babar Azam and Bisma Amzad
Babar Azam and Bisma Amzad

 

Just like the entire world which was and is grappling with the pandemic, Pakistan was not an anomaly. In order to curb the virus, several restrictions were imposed on the movement of the people. Given the stringent rules, it was not possible for people to go out of their homes without any purpose. Cricket, just like many other things, was affected. While the male cricketers somehow managed to play, female cricketers were not allowed to do so.

Amjad came up with an out-of-the-box idea. She decided to chop her hair and dress like a man to play cricket. She says, “Boys used to play gully-cricket even during the pandemic. But the movement of girls was restricted, so we couldn’t play at all. I had no option but to dress like a boy and practice with them.”

She adds, “There are many girls from conservative families or rural areas, who dress like boys so they can play cricket without being noticed. A friend of mine has chopped her hair off so she could go and play without being known as she is a girl. Women who play sports have to struggle a lot in our society.”

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Amjad is lucky to have a good set of parents, who encourage her to play cricket. However, for reasons not known, they have given her one more year to make the cut into the national team. If she is unable to do so, she will be required to bid adieu to the game.

Source: The Guardian

I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.

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