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Televised match to herald a new dawn in UAE women's cricket

rituraj@khaleejtimes.com Filed on April 4, 2021

Kavisha Kumari

Chaya Mughal

To promote women's cricket in the UAE, the Emirates Cricket Board is organizing an exhibition game featuring national women’s team players

A stadium steeped in history will witness the dawn of a new era in UAE women’s cricket on Monday. In a historic first, the exhibition game between ECB Hawks and ECB Falcons at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday will become the first ever televised match featuring women’s cricketers in the UAE.

To promote women’s cricket in the UAE, the Emirates Cricket Board is organizing an exhibition game featuring national women’s team players.

The match will kick off at 7:30pm on Monday, before the final of the D10 men’s tournament at the same stadium.

Chaya Mughal, the UAE national team captain, will lead ECB Hawks against ECB Falcons, which will be led by the 17-year-old Kavisha Kumari.

“We are really excited because this is the first time we are getting an opportunity to play in front of others. It’s going to be live, so it’s the first time we are going to face a virtual audience,” Mughal told Khaleej Times on Sunday.

“You know, women’s cricket has barely any audience to watch. But tomorrow, I am sure lots of people are going to watch us play. This is really going to be a great opportunity for each one of us to showcase our talent.”

Having represented Jammu and Kashmir in Indian domestic tournaments before moving to Dubai, Mughal says women’s cricket in the desert is slowly gaining a foothold.

“Initially when we first started playing, people over here were not aware of women’s cricket in the UAE. But things have changed now. But there’s a whole bunch of girls that are coming up,” said Mughal who has played for the UAE at ICC World Cup qualifiers in countries like Malaysia, Thailand and Netherlands.

Monday’s televised match, according to Mughal, is a watershed moment for UAE women’s cricket.

“I just want to convey the message to all the youngsters who want to play cricket that UAE has talent,” the all-rounder said.

“So please, come and show yourself up. We have got a good number of players playing now. And we really want them to come and participate. If you have got talent, there’s lot of opportunity for you!”

And Kavisha, who remarkably made her UAE senior team debut at the age of 11 in 2014, is brimming with excitement.

“Everyone is overwhelmed with excitement. The whole world will get to see us live. Everyone is looking forward to this opportunity provided by the ECB. For the game to be televised, it’s like a cherry on the top. It’s a great opportunity for the youngsters,” she said.

“Young girls will be inspired and they would be able to dream to come onto this stage now. So we are like a stepping stone for them, in fact, this match is a big stepping stone for all women’s cricketers in the UAE.”

In another first, this will be the first match in the T10 format for the country’s women’s players.

“This is the first time we are playing the shortest format. This is a brand new thing,” Kavisha said.

“Everyone is trying their best to cope with it and everyone is preparing well to deliver a fantastic show tomorrow.”

author

Rituraj Borkakoty

A big fan of the Argentina national football team, Rituraj generally writes on sports. But he deeply cherishes the time he spent with his favourite musician from Assam, India, for an interview. And he loves to bring human interest stories to Khaleej Times readers.





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