Her enormous six to a ball not only challenged gender norms but also inspired everyone in the local stadium to respect and support her. This came just when the audience was criticising her for playing with the boys
Sadiya Wani, a class 12th student from Green Valley Educational Institute, Srinagar is an allrounder aspiring cricketer. The 18 year old was recently selected for the NCA (National Cricket Academy) training camp conducted by The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) under the best coaches of India.
At the age of 13, she played in the under 19 team in Rajkot. With her good performance, she got to play in the Under-23 team as well.
“In that tournament, I clinched the wickets of two of the well-known players from India, NuzhatParween and Arundhati Reddy. Being the youngest in the team, it appeared as something great to me. Since then, I continuously played U19 and U23 and played for the senior team last year and have played a good game,” she said.
Sadiya's tryst with cricket started during her childhood days, when she used to play with her brother and the boys of her locality. The reason being the less number of girls in the game.
She recalled and said, “One day, while coming back from school I saw girls playing in TRC so I came home and told my brother about the same. He got my registration done in the state cricket academy, JKCA and in the same year in 2018 I played my first U-19 match.”
Sadiya practices every day and sees an opportunity to be a cricketer in future. “Good matches are happening and now a good population of girls come up for trials. I want to finish my studies first but would parallely pursue my career in cricket,” she said.
But she feels there is less awareness among people regarding female participation in sports.
“Many parents don’t want their girls to opt for sports due to social limitations. Societal notions should not be an impediment. I was lucky enough to enjoy the support from my family but there are still many who sacrificed their talents and dreams because of a section of narrow-minded people,” she said.
Balancing sports and academics, she said she is all done for the upcoming matches to play despite preparing for her exams in March. “The people who play sports along with studies tend to perform better at every aspect of life. Both the things can go together if you know how to strike a balance,” she added.