20-Year-Old Pakistani Girl who plays for both the National Women’s Cricket And Football Teams
A time when playing only one sport is taking its toll on the players, 20-Year-Old Pakistani Girl Diana Baig is an exception.She plays for both the National Women’s Cricket And Football Teams.
The youngster has already been a part of playing eleven in the Pakistan women’s football team, making her debut in the 2014 SAFF Women’s Championships. Her international cricket career has so far been limited to an ODI appearance and a T20I. The highpoint in her cricket career came whe she was selected in the squad for the T20 Women’s World Cup. However, she had to sit out on the sidelines.
While speaking to tribune.com.pk, Diana said: “It was an honour to be selected for the T20 squad. “It was very encouraging for me — it gave me new life, a new energy.”
Baig grew up playing street cricket and football with other children in the picturesque Hunza Valley, their makeshift arenas ringed by some of the world’s tallest mountains in Pakistan’s northern Gilgit-Baltistan.
Though women playing sports isn’t a familiar sight in conservative society of Pakistani, but Baig said that being a girl did not matter. She said:” Baig belongs to the Ismaili sect of Shia Islam, who are followers of the Aga Khan — infamous in conservative Pakistan for their moderate views.”
Baig journey in cricket is really inspiring. From the streets, Baig began playing in community events and for local teams, and by 2010 she was leading the newly-formed Gilgit-Baltistan women’s team.
Two years later, the 20-years old player was selected for Pakistan’s A side, and then as a reserve player for the 2013 World Cup. In 2015 she finally won her first international cap, playing for Pakistan against Bangladesh.
But Baig admitted that she had her moments of despair along the way.
“A time came when I could not see my future bright like this,” she admits.
Being selected for the A side changed all that. “After that, I started to work hard.”
As per reports,Women cricketers are not offered contracts by the national selectors and are selected on a match-by-match basis from local teams. That apart, they are not offered proper support in the way of training facilities, training time etc. So Baig mostly relied on her university team and resources to try making it to the national team – and even when she made it, there was no guarantee that she would get to play or play regularly.
So while her goal is to elstablish her in the cricket team, she is also not ready to give up on football. She told AFP, ““I try to start from football… I play football in the morning, then our cricket training starts around 11 or 12 noon and continues until 3:00 pm or 4:00 pm.”
Well looking at her determination, one can only wish that she achieves immense success in he career.
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