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Rare sight for J&K: Shopian girl’s debut in Women’s IPL

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By: Shaheen Amin

Shopian, July 09: Women’s cricket tournament remains so far a rare sight in Jammu and Kashmir; however, a 28-year-old Kashmiri woman cricketer, Jasia Akhter, greeted people of the state with this rare sight at Women’s Indian Premier League (WPL).

Akhter, 28, who hails from a far flung village of Bradipora area of district Shopian became first ever woman from Kashmir to play Women’s Indian Premier League (IPL) in May, 2019. Akhter’s selection in Women’s IPL has come as a huge boost for aspiring women cricketers in the valley. She played for “Trailblazers” alongside India’s best cricketers like Smriti Mandhana.

Last year, Akhter had played for Indian Reds in the Women’s Challenger Trophy; besides, cricket Akhter had tried her hand at Kabaddi, Atheletics and Soft Ball but she was only dreaming to be a cricketer.

Akhter, who lives with her family, comprising five siblings and parents, in a single storied two room house, never lost hope and worked meticulously to reach her goal despite belonging to a middle class family.

Akhter started playing professional cricket in 2009 as she took part in various state-level cricket tournaments. Jasia had moved from Shopian to Punjab for training purposes where she worked hard to enhance her cricketing skills. In 2017, she was one among 25 players who got selected for the one-month Indian National Women Camp held at the National cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.

Talking to Kashmir Images, Akhter termed her life as “full of struggles”. During my childhood days, I had thought of quitting cricket as the financial conditions were not conducive. I continued because my parents were always supportive,” said Jasia.

“It is the reward for my hard work that I was selected to participate in the coveted Women’s IPL. All credit goes to my parents who reposed trust and hope in me,” she added.

Speaking to Kashmir Images Akhter’s father, Ghulam Mohammad Wani, who is a farmer by profession, said that everyone felt happy in Bradipora village after his daughter got selected for Women’s IPL. “We have given her freedom to explore her talent,” Wani added.

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