Jeddah: An all women’s cricket match was conducted on Friday – 6th March 2020 at the Kingdom Sports Complex, Jeddah. The players included citizens of 8 nations including Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Philippines, Indonesia, Sudan and Egypt.
It was a new experience for the players and spectators alike. The 10 over match was played with adherence to all international regulations concerning the game and was officiated by a professional umpires.
Ms Angelene , native of South Africa, and an ardent cricket fan was the captain of one of the teams. She reminisced about her earlier days in her homeland where she was more active in sports. She hadn’t had much exposure to play her favorite sport since she started working in KSA.
Players from various countries
For the players from countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Philippines , it was a chance to become part of the history of the sport in KSA. They had practice sessions in their respective work places , groomed by their colleagues who were from cricket playing countries.
“ We were taught the rules of the game, watched many cricket matches on TV and tried practice sessions for the last two months in the build up for the game” , commented Ms Joy and Ms Maha Halwani.
The event was organized by Abeer Medical Group as part of their 20th year celebrations. Alungal Mohammed, the President of the Group congratulated all the players on their achievement and praised the government of KSA, under the leadership of the King Salman bin Abdul Aziz and the Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman . “Some thing like this would not have been thought to the possible couple of years back . With the encouragement from the government and the vision of the ministries, this is an example that the country is progressing fast in the track to achieving its Vision 2030 goals”.
Khlood Bayazeed, Sr. HR Manager, Abeer Medical Group, who was part of the winning team said that she was delighted to be part of the history making event, especially the strong message of women empowerment that such an initiative delivers on the eve of the International Women’s Day.
Giant step in sporting history of Saudi Arabia
Veteran journalist Khaled al Maeena, who was the chief guest for the event, said that this was a giant step in the sporting history of Saudi Arabia. He encouraged the players to devote time to professional cricket and assured that the feat would be showcased to the General Sports Authority and Ministry of entertainment.
Senior officials from the Jeddah Cricket Association, Mr. Aijaz Khan, President & Mr. Haroon Mahfouz, Executive Secretary also attended the event. Both commented, “ We have been successfully organizing tournaments in Jeddah for over 2 decades and throughout, we had been dreaming of this moment for a long time. We are glad that Abeer Medical Group took this initiative to raise awareness for women empowerment & gender equality”
The event was planned and organized by Abeer Medical Group’s Corporate affairs & the marketing team, who believed that investing in women’s participation in sport has a key role in developing a cycle of positive social and work outcomes.