Cricket has always been dominated by male athletes in Pakistan. The craze starts from the streets where boys play in the streets and grow up with the sport. By the time they’re adults – many of them feel like they can easily take up the sport professionally, many do.
But for girls, it wasn’t ever something we grew up with too. Throughout my life I’ve never seen girls playing cricket – they’ve always been limited to hopscotch and other “girly” games.
But things are changing.
Kainat Imtiaz and Saleema Imtiaz, a mother-daughter duo made the headlines recently. They are both a huge part of Pakistani cricket.
Kainat is an all-rounder cricket player currently playing for PCB’s Dynamites as a bowler. While her mother has been an Umpire since 2006 and is currently umpiring the women’s T20 Triangular Tournament in Karachi.
5 years later, her daughter followed in her footsteps and made her cricket debut in 2006.
Saleema expressed how her daughter is fulfilling her childhood dream of representing Pakistan.
“She isn’t only a good daughter, but also a good cricketer” –Saleema Imtiaz
Kainat says that her mother is one of her greatest inspirations –
“I feel proud when I look at my mom. She took up umpiring to fulfill her passion of being in the ground. I want to be like my mom and hope to translate my passion for cricket into something through which I can return more to my country, even after my career as a player.”
She added how her parents, both being sports instructors were almost always there for her school sporting events. Growing up with sports having such a big role in her life she was naturally really drawn to cricket in her life.
Kainat has won many medals throughout her career and has represented Pakistan internationally.
So far the duo hasn’t been in the same match under the PCB but has participated together in local matches.
Having parents that uplift you and encourage you to try out all the sports whether they are “boy sports” or “girl sports” is really important.
Sports don’t have a gender – they’re just sports. Had her parents not been so supportive, today Pakistan wouldn’t have had a talented all-rounder player in our team.
t’s time we start taking sports as seriously for girls as we’ve done for boys since the beginning of time. Who knows how many Kainats we have hidden in our cities, waiting to come out and play too.