One summer evening, Ali and some of his friends were playing cricket at a playground near their home.

“Victory!” yelled Ali and ran to his teammates for a small victory celebration before their mothers would call them for supper. He high-fived his teammates, talked a bit and then walked towards his sister, Hira, who was sitting on the benches, intently watching him play.

Ali seemed very happy about his game. However, his mood suddenly changed when Hira asked him if she could also join Ali and his friends next time. He refused, even though he knew how well Hira played.

“Girls can’t play cricket. Why don’t you stick to something easy like playing badminton or with dolls or something easy and simple,” he replied.

Even after constant pleading by Hira, Ali’s answer remained the same. Hira walked back home in disappointment. It didn’t make sense to her that even though she played very well, she was not allowed to join the team her brother was playing in.

At home, she picked up the newspaper and read about a female cricket team in Pakistan. This gave her an idea, an idea that would soon be her only way to play cricket.

She brainstormed with her friends and put up flyers around her society for setting up a girls’ cricket team. She also included an email address and information about the motive behind the team. Within a couple of days, many girls, who could relate to Hira’s dream, reached out to her.

Soon, Hira formed an all-new female cricket team. They would practice regularly and they got better daily, even when they received insults and were made fun of by the boys’ team. The girls remained persistent and kept on with their practice.

One day, they were challenged by the boys’ cricket team of the area. Hira’s team was new and still learning, so most of the girls wanted to back out from the challenge as they thought it would only embarrass them in front of everyone. The risks were greater, they argued. But Hira was sure they had the potential to beat the boys’ team, even though she was going to be playing against her brother. After all, girls are not inferior to boys, she thought.

The girls practiced every day. As the boys were sure they would win, they did not notice how hard the female team was working.

On the day of the match, the girls played exceptionally well, surprising everyone, including their opponents. As the match progressed, the crowd built up, mainly because they were surprised to see girls playing cricket, that too against boys. Unfortunately, nobody was siding with the girls’ team. They all were whispering about how the boys would win.

Hira was extremely disheartened, but she didn’t stop giving her best. As the game progressed, more and more people started backing the girls — it was clear they were playing better than the boys. The boys were losing the match.

Hira’s team ended up winning the match. Ali felt defeated and it did not make him happy. But when he saw his sister smiling so joyfully, his heart melted and he realised how lucky he was to have such a sister who believed in herself and proved that she was no less than anyone.

The girls cricket team ended up being an extremely successful team of the city. Soon they had many sponsors and supporters, and they inspired many other girls to take up the sport of their choice.

Remember friends, girls are not in any way less than boys in any field. All they need is a chance to prove themselves. So girls, go out, follow your dream and victory will be yours.

Published in Dawn, Young World, March 5th, 2022

Opinion

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