Jammu and Kashmir’s first ever T20 cricket tournament for women is underway in Srinagar’s Bakshi Stadium and 13 teams are participating in it. A football field with cones placed around the centre line has been converted into a cricketing pitch with a 55-yard boundary and a mat has been used for a pitch. Some of the players who have participated in the tournament will be playing for the first time as a part of their teams, Indian Express reported.
Meenu Salathia, captain of Jammu Warriors said, ” I practiced with my brothers and cousins. They played and I fielded.” The skipper of Srinagar Power Hitters Bushra Ashraf said that they use the University of Kashmir’s lawn for their practice sessions since the cricket ground of Srinagar is mostly used by the boys. Another team from Baramullah said that the only way they can practice is to attend college since none of them has the gear or kits, they depend on the facilities available at the college. Every single team has a story to tell of how they overcame hurdles to be a part of the state’s first ever T20 tournament for women.
The 13 teams that are participating in the tournament comprise nine from Kashmir, three from Jammu and the Ladakh Warriors. The players who participated in the tournament comprise of players who have played national tournaments and have been a part of national camps but the lack of proper practice sessions and training camp is the biggest complaint that everyone has been making. However, they are grateful for the opportunity which has come in the form of this tournament. CM Mehbooba Mufti promised her support to women’s sports and institutionalisation of the tournament. The CM also announced the allocation of Rs 45 crore under the Prime Minister’s Development Package to develop the stadium on international norms.