Kandahari girls take up cricket

Girls from Kandahar are breaking with local tradition by learning how to play cricket. According to local officials, there are now 48 women cricketers in Kandahar who are playing the game at girls’ schools across the province. The female cricketers say that by playing cricket they are saying no to “unwanted traditions and cultures” in society.

“Girls love this game very much,” Madina, a woman cricketer in Kandahar said to TOLOnews. “The problem is that they are not allowed by their families to play cricket. I hope their families stop putting pressure on them. We have a right too, same as boys, to improve and move on.”

“As you see, we do not have a standard playground. We urge (the government) to establish a playground for us to play in a better environment,” Maryam, another cricketer said.

The girls said that the lack of equipment and a proper playground are the main reasons that fewer girls are interested in sports, especially in cricket.

“At this school, we are the first girls who started playing cricket. I am a coach. We have two teams, one is for elder girls and another is for younger girls,” Sahar, coach of one of the women cricket teams said.

“In total, there are 48 female cricketers. We have had little progress, because we were not given enough attention and we do not have enough equipment,” Sahar explained.

Anisa is the captain of another girls’ cricket team in the Dand district of Kandahar province. Speaking to The Migrant Project, Anisa said: “We have been playing cricket for a year now. Initially I started playing cricket with a few girls from our family. Now other younger girls have become interested and we have four teams now”.

“The lack of professional coaching is still a challenge for us. We would like the government to provide us with the opportunities in Kandahar to teach us cricket professionally. This will help to energize young people and will make them healthy,” Anisa added.

Asked how many girls are currently playing cricket in the district Anisa said she didn’t know.

“I don’t know the exact figures, but cricket has become well-known and several girls are interested to play. However, the inaccessibility to covered playgrounds and safe places means most families won’t allow their girls to play.”

Photo Credit: TOLOnews. Photo Caption: A girl from the Kandahar girls cricket team

TMP – 04/06/2018

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