Cricket tournaments during of Ramzan are a part and parcel of the holy month in the city of lights, with numerous top stars arriving in the metropolis to entertain with their skills and play with sports enthusiasts.
A new addition to Karachi’s Ramzan cricket scene is the entrance of women cricketers as an eight-team tournament — aptly named “Khelo Khawateen” — was kicked off Thursday night here in the city with players aiming to become future’s Sana Mir, Bismah Maroof, and Javeria Khan.
More than 90 young sports aficionados gathered to enjoy the competitiveness of the tournament which was organized in partnership with Multan Sultans’ young cricket passionate owner Ali Khan Tareen.
According to Hadeel Obaid, the tournament’s organizer, eight teams will be in action during the three-day tournament, which will see cricketers using tape-ball. Group matches will comprise six overs per innings while the semi-final and final match will feature eight overs.
Talking to a local media outlet, Obaid said: “We want to provide the girls the opportunity to come and show their skills and excel.”
The teams are a mixture of fresh and some experienced cricketers who will provide the younger, amateur ones the chance to learn from those who have been playing for longer.
“There are a few girls who are fresh and there are some who have played some cricket — some have even played for the Pakistan team. So it is a great opportunity for all,” she added.
Maham Tariq, who has played eight one day international (ODIs) and three Twenty20 (T20) matches for Pakistan, is among the players who will be in action during this tournament.
“These type of tournaments are encouraging for girls [because] they usually do not get many opportunities. The tournament will also help us enhance our pool of talent,” Tariq said.
Six matches were played on an opening day, with the players showing great skills during the competition.
“It’s good to see girls coming and participating here,” Obaid noted proudly. “They will surely be sent to various academies after showing their skills in this tournament.
“We aim to make it bigger and better next year and have tournaments in different parts of the country as well,” she vowed.
For the players participating in the tournament, it is a great opportunity to showcase their skills and prove that they are equally good at playing the nightly tournaments.
“Ramzan cricket was, so far, limited to boys only but, now, we have also joined this festivity and it’s good to be here, playing cricket,” one of the players told Geo.tv.
“This will help us become another Sana Mir, Bismah [Maroof] or maybe Diana Baig or Javeria Khan,” said another.