A women’s charity cricket match will be played to celebrate the inaugural Day Of Gender Equality. It will be played at the Wormsley Park Cricket Ground, UK on 30th May between Sir Paul Getty XI and the FairBreak Global XI. The match will be held with the help of Commonwealth Businesswomen’s Network and 23 Capital.
This is the first time Sir Paul Getty XI will represent a women’s team and invited the FairBreak Global XI to play this exhibition T20 match. Though it has happened in men’s game before but is the first time in Women’s cricket where players from 11 different countries will play together in one team.
In an exclusive chat with Women’s CricZone, CEO of FairBreak, Shaun Martyn told about the thoughts behind this game. “The game is representative of the work we do in providing the opportunity for women. It’s important to highlight the incredible talent that exists in women’s cricket in all parts of the world not just in a few countries. Additionally, if the game is to grow and develop, then players from associate nations need the opportunity to play alongside players such as Suzie Bates from New Zealand and Alex Blackwell from Australia.”
Both the teams feature big names from all across the globe. Sir Paul Getty XI team will be led by Charlotte Edwards, the first female cricketer who scored 1000 runs, took 50 wickets and 50 catches in ODI. She is the first female cricketer to score 2,000 runs in T20I and became the first player (both men and women), to score 2,500 runs in T20Is.
Edwards played 191 ODIs, 23 Tests and 95 T20Is in her 19-year-long cricketing career and led England in 117 ODIs. She was the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year in 2008, Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2014 and ECB Cricketer of the Year in 2013–14 and 2014–15 seasons.
The FairBreak Global XI team consists of players from 11 different countries: Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, New Zealand, Oman, Rwanda, Singapore, USA, Vanuatu, and West Indies. Along with New Zealand skipper Suzie Bates and former Australia player Alex Blackwell, the India duo of Akanksha Kohli and Lakshmi Yadav will be a part of the squad.
While choosing the players for the FairBreak team, Martyn informed, “We wanted to select players from around the world. We have strong relationships throughout the cricketing community. We take recommendations and do our research. I have personally seen many of these players play and they are exceptionally talented. KIOC (Karnataka Institute of Cricket) is one of the organisations in India that supports our principles and advises us on players and developments in women’s cricket in India.”
He thinks this type of matches can surely promote Women’s Cricket all-over the country. “This will be an annual event so our expectations are that this event will set the stage for bigger and better events in the future. Never have 12 women from 11 countries played in the one team together. I believe that much more needs to be done to highlight the talent that is evident on a global basis.”
While talking to Women’s CricZone, Karnataka player Akanksha Kohli told how she got the chance. “Shaun Martyn (founder of FairBreak) had approached KIOC to give him some players who are talented and do not get many opportunities and are capable of playing for India. Irfan sir (Irfan Sait, KIOC director) nominated me from India.”
Kohli is all excited to play alongside Suzie Bates and Alex Blackwell and hopeful about promoting women’s cricket across the globe. “I am more excited to be playing with the likes of Suzie Bates, Alex Blackwell, and many others. It will fun and at the same time knowledgeable to be interacting with such diversified talent. It’s definitely going to help women’s cricket to go global and also domestic players have an opportunity to play matches abroad. So, the FairBreak XI team will be playing more matches in future apart from this one and we will be travelling across different countries. If talent is spotted and you do well there, there even might be more opportunities in future.”
Both the teams will be coached by Saba Nasim and Khyati Gulani. Khyati Gulani is currently working as a coach in Delhi State team and Saba Nasim is the award-winning coach from the UK, she was awarded a BEM for her coaching of women in England.
While talking to us about how she got the chance to be associated with FairBreak, Gulani told, “Last year before the Women’s World Cup, I got a chance to Coach a Girls Team from England through Global Cricket Academy in Mumbai which is owned by Mr Sachin Bajaj. Those girls were coming to India to work on playing against Spinners. So, I got that opportunity and I grabbed it with both the hands. Like this, I have taken many camps for Global Cricket Academy based in Mumbai. So, when he (Sachin Bajaj) got to know that Fair Break is organising a charity match at Wormsley and Mr Shaun Martyn who is the organiser of this is looking for a female coach, then Mr Sachin Bajaj suggested my name and I got a call from Mr Shaun and I accepted the offer.”
Excited to be a part of this with Bates and Blackwell, she added, “I am really excited to be a part of it. As for us as coaches at this level where all the renowned and experienced players are part of the team is to bring everyone on the same page rather than coaching skills. Because they are already well trained.”
While talking about the difference between coaching a state team and this team, she thinks it will be challenging for her. “Definitely, there is a difference but (at the) end of the day its Cricket. Same situations at both the levels. But when all the stars are there in the team and that too from different Countries it’s a challenge to justify things. As my main aim would be, I need to take out the best from everyone and showcase their talent.”
Suzie Bates (C) (NZ), Alex Blackwell (AUS), Selina Solman (Vanuatu), Divya GK (Singapore), Diane Bimenyimana (Rwanda), Nadia Gruny (USA), Lakshmi Yadav (Ind), Divya Saxena (Canada), Aakanksha Kohli (Ind), Mariko Hill (HongKong), Shamilia Connell (WI) and Vaishali Jesrani (Oman)
Sir Paul Getty XI:
Charlotte Edwards (C) (Eng), Arran Brindle (Eng), Laura MacLeod (Eng), Linsey Smith (Eng), Lea Tahuhu (NZ), Lauren Bell (Eng), Charlie Dean (Eng), Achini Perera (Canada), Mary Waldron (Ireland), Naomi Dattani (Eng) and Ciara Metcalfe (Ireland)