Posts Tagged ‘ Sana Mir ’

Pakistani Women Break Taboos in Winning Asiad Gold

As reported by Reuters

Sana Mir, captain of the Pakistan women’s cricket team that won a gold medal at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, had other ideas.

“I belong to Abbotabad where girls are not encouraged to take up sports leave alone cricket but my family was supportive and made it possible for me to play cricket and study as well,” Mir said after a triumphant return home on Sunday.

“I hope our victory will serve as a catalyst for women’s sports in Pakistan.”

The women’s team, wearing their green team blazers, were garlanded and showered with rose petals in a rousing welcome at Karachi airport after winning the gold medal in a one-sided final against Bangladesh on Saturday.

“This welcome is like icing on the cake after our victory,” Mir said.

Pakistani media greeted the gold medal as a victory for women in the country.  “Looking for positive faces to show the world, Pakistan need go no further than its sportswomen,” the Dawn English daily newspaper said in an editorial.

“Despite the many restrictions they face, Pakistani women have done well in the field of sports from time to time.”  “Unfortunately too little has been done to encourage these brave young women,” the News daily paper said.

“We never dreamt one day women’s cricket would be acknowledged this way,” said Mir. “The day we won the medal I called up my family to thank them for their support.”

In a country where cricket remains a passion despite the spot-fixing allegations surrounding the men’s team, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has been giving steady exposure to the women’s team.

“The fact that we have played regularly since last year in International Cricket Council (ICC) tournaments and against better opposition has helped these girls gain confidence,” said Bushra Aitzaz who heads the women’s wing in the PCB.

Pakistan Women’s Cricket Team Relishes Spotlight in Guangzhou

As Reported by The China Daily

The Guangzhou Asian Games have made Sana Mir, Captain of the Pakistan Women’s Cricket Team, feel like a big-screen star.

Pakistan, the tournament’s No 1 seed, easily won its game against newcomer China by nine wickets on Monday, but that sparkling effort was not what truly impressed Mir.

“We never get this kind of media coverage back at home. I am just so glad the sport made it to the Asian Games,” said the 26-year-old. “There is always TV coverage when the Men’s Cricket Team plays in Pakistan because it is huge, but you never see us playing on big screens or TVs,” she said.

Although Pakistan has 500 to 600 professional women players under the age of 19, and about 1,000 to 1,200 playing at the senior level, they are overshadowed by the men’s game, said Ayesha Ashhar, Manager of the Women’s Team.

“Our earnings can’t compare with what the men make. It’s the love of the sport that keeps us going,” said Mir. “We would like to be treated and rewarded just like the Men’s Team.”

Unlike some of the women players whose families are against them playing due to strict traditions, Mir’s family is happy for her to play the game. “I have to thank my parents and brother for their support, otherwise I couldn’t have made it this far.”

Meanwhile, Ashhar said women’s cricket in Pakistan has improved rapidly over the past two to three years, thanks to an effective domestic structure which helps players to train and progress at a young age.

“The team’s performance at the international level wouldn’t be as good as it is now without that.”

She also said China definitely gave the No 1 seed a surprise in Monday’s match – the first between the two countries.

“For a young team that only has three years’ of history, what China did on the field was excellent – especially the bowling,” the manager said.

Currently all of the Chinese players are converts from other sports, including Rugby, Softball, Volleyball and Athletics.

“Cricket needs many years to become established in a country. For China, the challenge is to attract enough talented players and coaches. But I believe when China chooses to develop a sport, it succeeds,” Ashhar said.

“All we need now is time,” said Liu Rongyao, Manager of China Women’s Team. “In ten years’ time, China will be among the top three women’s teams in Asia.”

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