ISLAMABAD: Young woman cricketer Saira Jabeen from the Kalash valley of Chitral has signed a contract with an Australian club in Sydney.
Saira Jabeen, 22, is among 74 Pakistani women cricketers already in the contract of Pakistan Cricket Board ((PCB) unser its domestic central contract.
Saira Jabeen reached Australia in September 28 this year and joined the Paramount Grade Women Cricket Club.
In an interview, she said that due to unavailability of sport opportunities for women and social taboos, she started playing cricket with boys in her village.
She said there were always obstacles and challenges when you want to achieve some dream.
She said by signing the contract with the PCB and joining the club in Australia, she was now confident of achieving her dream of setting an example for young women and girls to excel in sports.
Sara comes from Rumbur in Kalash valley. She is the youngest of the siblings and darling of the family.
Her father Engineer Khan, a teacher, enjoys the privilege of being the first person from the valley to get a master’s degree. The whole family has a liking for cricket, thanks to cable network.
Saira gave a big smile telling me that her mother has been a great support; she is very fond of watching cricket and never misses an India-Pakistan match.
The village has four teams, playing tape- ball cricket in the only ground. Saira joined a team when not even ten; her three brothers were already playing in this team.
The villagers would turn up and cheer the teams. The elderly were not much familiar with rules of the game, but enjoyed the excitement and running around of players.
Saira recalls with a playful smile that usually after the match the opponents would notice that she was a girl; they would look at her in disbelief as to how she could hit sixes and bowl well too.
She is full of praise for the village boys who never made her feel uncomfortable, rather encouraged her.