Australian envoy greets Pakistan’s girls for taking part in cricket tournament

The Australian High Commission and the Pakistan Cricket Board with the support of Serena Hotels on 7th December hosted the 5th AHC-PCB Girls’ Cricket Cup at F-9 Cricket Ground, Islamabad.

Australia’s Acting High Commissioner to Pakistan, Brek Batley, congratulated the schools on their participation and welcomed the continued support of the PCB and Serena Hotels for the annual AHC-PCB Girls’ Cricket Cup.

“The Australian High Commission has been sponsoring girls’ cricket in Pakistan since May 2016 to promote equality through sport. We began with a single annual tournament in Islamabad but expanded in Lahore and Karachi this year,” Mr. Batley said.

“Our countries share a passion for cricket, so we’re very pleased to support this event. Cricket and other sports can help tear down barriers and stereotypes. Every time these girls hit a boundary or make a catch, they are taking a step towards greater equality,” he said.

The girls attended a five-day coaching camp in the lead-up to the competition conducted by PCB first-class cricket coaches and the Manager of Pakistan Women’s Emerging Squad, Fizza Abid.

Aziz Boolani, CEO Serena Hotels, said, “Cricket is a passion in Pakistan and as a sport, it embodies all the best attributes of any game – encouraging teamwork, discipline, hard work, and strategic thinking. Under Serena Hotels Sports Diplomacy initiatives we support, facilitate and sponsor numerous sporting events and our commitments to sports diplomacy and women’s empowerment have found expression in the AHC-PCB Girls’ Cricket Cup. This tournament provides a wonderful vehicle for promoting and highlighting the importance of gender equality in sport.”

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When you sit down today and listen to the reasons for why young girls in schools enjoy cricket, surprisingly enough, it isn’t always because they want to play for their country. It is because they have grown to love the game, a game which has so many dimensions to it, that even the girls who don’t normally excel in sport can find their niche. It teaches them leadership, respect, teamwork, winning and losing gracefully, confidence and the importance of being a good tactician.

These are skills they are able to learn when they are in the right environment. For these girls, it isn’t about showing off the immaculate technique, or back of the hand slower ball because they want to play for their country – it is about having a sense of community and being part of something which they haven’t experienced before – it is about them learning something new, at a pace that is manageable and fills them with confidence.

Mr. Batley also highlighted that Australia will host the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup final on International Women’s Day i.e on 8th March 2020. At the tournament, Australia will become the first cricketing nation to close the gender gap in earning. Cricket Australia will top up any prizemoney won by the Australian team to ensure parity with men’s winnings.

Prajakta Bhawsar

An ardent cricket admirer who grew up watching a lot of cricket. She loves reading up articles for breakfast, prefers match discussions at lunch and finishes by analyzing games for dinner. A person who views sports as a metaphor of life.

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