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Bangladesh's first women's cricket tournament begins

Bangladesh's first women's cricket tournament begins

Bangladesh's first cricket tournament for women began Saturday in the capital, with players in 10 teams vying for the championship trophy _ and a place in the national squad.
Cricket is fast catching up with soccer as Bangladesh's most popular sport and the Bangladesh men's team ranks among the 10 full members of the International Cricket Council.
But the South Asian country has never fielded a team in an international women's tournament because of a lack of interest from players and organizers alike.
Thirty cricketers will be selected for further training at the end of the Women's Cricket Championship, Hamida Begum, a member the cricket board's women's wing, told reporters Friday.
"Our objective is to build a women's national cricket team," Begum said. "We will also invite foreign teams to play in the country."
M. Abdul Aziz, president of the Bangladesh Cricket Board, inaugurated the championship at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
Divided into two groups, 10 teams from across Bangladesh will play 30-overs-a-side matches in the knockout tournament. The top two sides from each group will advance to the semifinals, with the final set for Feb. 5.
In Saturday's inaugural match, the players _ mostly students or members of law enforcement agencies _ batted, bowled and fielded in similar attire to that worn by their male counterparts _ sports pants and T-shirts.
Bangladeshi women compete in most sports, and have won medals in international swimming, shooting and martial arts events.
In the past, wrestling, soccer and long-distance swimming competitions have met with resistance from religious groups in the Muslim-majority nation.
Organizers said there had been no opposition to the women-only cricket tournament.
"Our girls have come a long way, overcoming sports and social barriers," Parveen Putul, coach of Dhaka's regional team said Saturday. "They played well in practice matches, and they now have the confidence to take it up as a career."


Updated : 2021-08-03 02:56 GMT+08:00