In the recently held ‘under-23 Women’s league cricket tournament’ in Amritsar, a first ever Kashmiri girl from Anantnag district in South Kashmir was selected to represent the North Zone cricket team in a tournament organised by BCCI in Mumbai.
Rubiya Syed, 21, qualified the under-23 Women’s league tournament with an outstanding performance of 160 runs with the highest score of 82 runs in the inaugural match played against Punjab. Rubiya hails from Badasgam village (14 km away from Anantnag town). Her father, professionally a tailor, always supported Rubiya to pursue her passion for cricket. No matter how bad was their financial condition but his father always motivated and sponsored Rubiya to continue cricket.
“At times, my father had no money but he never let me feel the burden. He did every possible thing to help me so that I can continue playing cricket’ ’says Syed.
Rubiya draws every bit of inspiration from her coach Sakeena Akhtar, who is also another first woman to become a cricket coach in Jammu and Kashmir. It was Sakeena who encouraged Rubiya and helped her to achieve the title of “First Female Cricketer of Kashmir”. Coach Sakeena trained Rubiya when the entire Kashmir valley was on the boil. In such difficult circumstances, making a choice to play cricket for women was very hard but Sakeena and Rubiya kept practicing to achieve their goals.
On Rubiya’s win, Sakeena said that the girls from Kashmir are very talented and possess potential to excel in sports as well as in other fields. However, there is a lack of women participation in sports and only limited resources are available for the sportswomen. Also, she said that due to the unrest in Kashmir last year, many women cricketers were not able to participate efficiently, otherwise more women players would have been selected from Jammu and Kashmir. Rubiya’s parents were delighted to know about their daughter’s win and Rubiya’s mother could not have asked Allah anything better than wishing to see her daughter making a career as a cricketer. Currently, Rubiya is in Mumbai and working hard to make history in Cricket.
“There is a lot of competition. The other girls are very well trained but I am also working hard to take full advantage of this platform. I play as an all-rounder and I will give my 100% in the upcoming matches”; says Rubiya.
New Age Kashmir congratulate daughters of Kashmir like Rubiya Syed and Sakeena Akhtar who encouraging Kashmiri girls to pursue their dreams. However, there is a need to promote more women participation in sports and also if provided proper facilities, the women of Kashmir will excel in sports.