Whilst India and Pakistan celebrate 70 years of independence this year, in the UK women in cricket from both nations came together to raise awareness of gender equality through a charity cricket game against the UK Armed Forces ladies team.
Under the Bowling Out Domestic Violence campaign the game, now in its second year, has been gaining national and international coverage in raising awareness of women in sport and violence against women and girls.
Played at the Royal Chelsea Hospital Burton Court cricket ground on what was one of the hottest days in August, the scene was set for a perfect display to showcase an equal playing field and also celebrate the best of British, Pakistani and Indian relations.
The day started with a display of junior activity led by Capital Kids Cricket, a London based charity established since 1989 who deliver a range of cricket related projects with a focus on providing disadvantaged people with the opportunity to participate in healthy, physical activity.
The Inspirational Women’s XI put on a low score of 89, however came out with some fantastic bowling and fielding performances to win by 13 runs, showcasing the talent of cricket within the South Asian community.
Speaking after the match, Hannah Murphy, Head of Public Policy at the ECB said “What we have seen at Burton Court today is a tremendous example of two organisations coming together to highlight an important cause.
“On behalf of the ECB, I’d like to thank the Inspirational Women’s cricket team and the UK Armed Forces Women’s team for taking the time and effort to support such a worthy initiative.
“Events like today do not happen without the passion and dedication of committed individuals, and I would especially like to thank Halima Khan for her tireless efforts to ensure today’s match was a success.
“I hope this match will become a regular fixture in the cricket calendar.”
Both Opening Boundaries and the UK Armed Forces Ladies are looking forward to taking the Bowling Out Domestic Violence campaign to Kenya in September for two weeks where a team of 18 women will be working in partnership with the Kenyan Cricket Board and the British High Commission to highlight issues of women’s empowerment and gender-based violence.