Big Response For Indian Army's Women's Cricket League In J&K

Seeking to boost the morale of budding female cricketers, the Indian Army on Saturday started a women’s cricket league under the banner of Sadhbavana Project.

Women cricket team players during a practice session

The Indian Army launched a women's cricket league on Saturday with 12 teams from all across the valley, in an effort to bolster the confidence of aspiring female cricketers.The women's league is run by the Army's Sadhbavana Project, according to Colonel Manoj Dobriyal, who is in charge of it, and it has received positive feedback.

“The women's cricket league is being conducted at the Sher-e-Kashmir stadium. Twelve teams are participating in the league and three teams are from Srinagar while the rest of the teams are from other districts of Kashmir,” Colonel Dobriyal told PTI.

Colonel Dobriyal thanked the civil administration and Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) for providing the facilities, saying that the climate in the valley has improved to make sports more feasible.

"It is the opportune time (for such events). I can only say to all the youngsters that they must come out and engage themselves in all forms of sports,” he said. 

The University of Kashmir team's head coach, Sakeena Akhter, suggested that more such activities be organised by the government.

"Events of this nature should happen more. This is the first tournament I am witnessing such a response. The participants are getting jerseys, ground, accommodation etc of international standards. It is encouraging to see more women are coming forward to participate in cricket, and other sporting events," said Akhter. 

“Earlier, such events did not take place. But now tremendous opportunities are getting opened for women here. I am excited and women players should go out and grab the opportunities," said Tabin Tariq who plays cricket for Shopian Strikers.

"Events of this nature will promote women's empowerment. These competitions will enable women to succeed in sports and pursue it as a career,” said Liba who is a cricketer from Women’s College Blasters.

Vijay Kumar Bidhuri, the Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir, predicted that the league's members will be looked up to as role models in their home communities.

“My message is that everyone should participate (in sports) enthusiastically. Now, we can see cricket is being played at Poloview Market and Lal Chowk as well and it also encourages physical fitness,” said Bidhuri.