Madiha Gul: Meet the 18-year-old inspirational cricketer from Mardan

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Chronicles of Resistance: A series to celebrate the achievements of women showing resistance to oppresive treatments and patriarchal systems that embody harmful traditions and deny women their right to a life of dignity

As narrated to Women’s Avenue

I remember playing cricket in the streets outside my home, I was just seven when I started. My elders told me to stop playing game as it wasn’t meant for girls. Inside my tiny mind, I wondered why I shouldn’t play and what difference does it makes if a girls wishes to play cricket? Playing with dolls never pleased me. I continued my passion and participated in college games. Being a young woman dreaming to become a cricketer, I faced strong opposition from my family and relatives. My uncle once told me that no one will marry me if I didn’t stop playing cricket. I was told that a woman should behave like a woman. I faced remarks like ‘‘women should avoid trying to act and dress as men do’’. Since I wasn’t allowed to go for game trials, my brothers would follow me to university to check whether I’m in university or gone for match. Nobody would talk to me at home for days when I used to go for a match. My father however supported me unconditionally for which he was socially boycotted by rest of the family. I challenged the conservative mind-set and living my lifelong dream of playing for women’s cricket team. In the recent KP’s Women T-20 Super League, I was the one from winning team ‘‘FATA Strikers’’, I grabbed 17 wickets in the event and awarded as Best Bowler of the series. I know one day I’ll be playing for National Women Cricket team.

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