GULF WOMEN GATHER

Aminul Islam speaks to Kuwait’s women squad

The inaugural GCC Women's Twenty20 Championship will be played in Oman this month. The five-day event will feature the hosts along with Kuwait, Qatar, and UAE. "It's a wonderful opportunity for the women to play some international cricket after quite some time," says ACC Development Officer Iqbal Sikander. The initiative has been taken by Oman and is making use of the funds allocated to women’s cricket by the ACC.

The UAE squad for the inaugural GCC Women’s Twenty20 Championship

UAE, the pioneers of women’s cricket in the Gulf, who have been playing in ACC women’s events since 2007 have selected a strong squad from more than 40 hopefuls. Quoted in Gulf News, team manager (and former national player) Manvi Dhodhi says “many academies in the UAE are now producing women cricketers...it was an intense competition for the 15 member team. After one and half month’s training we organised two selection matches for the selectors to watch and pick the final 15. The matches were of high standards and we are witnessing a general upswing in women’s cricket.” Oman have been training hard for this event since the start of 2014 and are likely favourites. Kuwait and Qatar will possibly be just as competitive.

Oman’s women cricketers in training

“You cannot believe how much we have waited for this chance to play. Our girls are so passionate for this game and we will do everything we can to help them,” says Qatar’s Women’s Cricket Co-ordinator Maryam Gul Khan. Kuwait have been working steadily, consistently, diligently too, under coach Tariq Rasool and have had the added benefit of a session with ACC Development Officer Aminul Islam in November. “The girls have a pretty good idea of cricket, they have quite some fitness, most importantly they have a good attitude,” says Aminul, “to have a focus for all their efforts with this Gulf Cup is very motivating.”

Qatar’s women’s team before setting off for Muscat

Organised by the Gulf nations themselves, it is hoped that the GCC Women’s Twenty20 Championship will be played annually.

Filed December 11th, 2014