Why isn’t Pakistan rooting for our #GirlsInGreen?
Sana Mir wants to prepare a team that is capable enough to do without her; in other words she is ready to hand over the reins to her predecessor on the heels of arguably the biggest win of her international career.
Not many male Pakistan cricketers have cared about preparing heirs to their throne in theory, even the ones who have ‘ruled the world’ have left a gaping leadership hole after leaving the game.
Sana is hence different and she has perhaps already leapt frogged most of Pakistan’s male cricket captains by achieving what all of them collectively haven’t — a win over India in an International Cricket Council (ICC) event.
March 19th was Shahid Afridi’s date with destiny, at the twilight of his career the chance of toppling the arch-rivals at the biggest stage of all — Kolkata’s Eden Gardens.
Pakistan’s hyperventilating news channels were in an overdrive compared to their already over the top daily antics. Extended news bulletins and ‘live transmission’ with a galaxy of cricket ‘experts’ and analysts ranted on the possibilities of a win and redemption for the green shirts.
The women only got their attention as they first stalled India’s progress before restricting them to a mere 96 run total in their clash at Delhi’s Ferozshah Kotla stadium. After a fine start, the women team emulated their male compatriots by a middle-order stutter as clouds closed in at the Kotla.
— Mansoor Ali Khan (@_Mansoor_Ali) March 19, 2016
Women are equal to men: Look up the definition of all those who believe that! bravo pic.twitter.com/1tu8gtCk8I
— Sharmeen Obaid (@sharmeenochinoy) March 22, 2016
— Fakhr-e-Alam (@falamb3) March 19, 2016
Eventually they prevailed and there was delirium in Pakistan with social media junkies frantically typing praiseworthy tweets and posts, unfortunately though the celebrations were muted and eventually faded away as the Kolkata nightmare unfolded.
But Pakistan must celebrate the women stars, as the government tables some hitherto unheard of pro-women bills, the #GirlsInGreen have become a beacon of hope for the suppressed, underprivileged vast majority of Pakistani women.
Every world event, the green shirts hog the limelight more due to the sheer fact that they break stereotypes, taboos and withstand intense family pressures to pursue their dream actively. Their performances, or the lack of, on the field are often swept under the carpet.
But the daredevil act in Delhi is going to give their game adequate coverage and perhaps scrutiny too. The time is now rife to turn these women cricketers into stars, leading brands and sponsors who run after the Afridis of this world need to have some share of the spoils for Sana and her bunch too.
On the field, the green shirts must continue to progress and strengthen the base of players, the game must be spread far and wide especially areas where women are not provided adequate opportunities of expressing their talent and skill.
Sana has indicated that she is not going to stay for long; the think-tank must start preparing the bench strength for another captain and other senior players like Nain Abidi, Nida Dar and company should be trained to takeover.
Meanwhile the WorldT20 is far from over for Sana’s team. After toppling India, they have a realistic chance of progressing to the last four stage by winning their next two games against Bangladesh and England. Pakistan must root for them and give them the attention and respect that they truly deserve.
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