Big response for Indian Army’s women’s cricket league in J&K

Srinagar: Seeking to boost the morale of budding female cricketers, the Indian Army on Saturday started a women’s cricket league here in which 12 teams from across the valley are participating. Colonel Manoj Dobriyal, who is overseeing the league, said the women’s league is being conducted under the Army’s Sadhbavana Project and it has attracted good response.

“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. Expressing his gratitude to Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) and civil administration for providing the facilities, Colonel Dobriyal said the situation in the valley has become more conducive to sporting activities.

“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.

Sakeena Akhter, coach of the University of Kashmir team, said authorities should come forward to organise more such events.

“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.

Tabin Tariq, a cricketer playing for Shopian Strikers, said the league will give them a chance to showcase their skills.

“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.

Liba, who plays for Women’s College Blasters, said such tournaments will prompt women to see sports as a viable career option.

“These kind of events will facilitate women empowerment. These tournaments will help women to excel in the field of sports and take it as a career option,” she said.

Divisonal Commissioner, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar Bidhuri, said the participants in the league will be viewed as role models in their home towns.

“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.