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By Sam Sooppersaud
Growing up in British Guiana (Guyana) it seemed that I was always at a cricket ground. From early days in Elenmentary School, we, boys, learnt to play cricket and took part in the Inter-Schools (Elementary) Cricket Tournaments. Inasmuch as it was not officially spelled out, only boys were slected by the schools to play the game. Girls at that time were mostly interested in playing Rounders (similar rules as Baseball) or Hopscotch, or other stereotyped "female" games. Boys played cricket and Soccer. At the High School level it was the same arrangement.
As the years went by I became aware that more and more girls were starting to play cricket. Then, years later yet, there was quasi women's cricket tournaments in Guyana. Although the Guyana Cricket Board did not actively embark on an official cricket program, it did not discourage the interests of would be female cricketers. As early as 1962, I was aware of a national cricket team getting ready to participate in a Women's Cricket Tournament in the West Indies. England, Australia, India, Pakistan, and other ICC test playing countries already had competitive women's squad.
Today there are official ICC sponsored Women's Cricket Tournament throughout the world. Early this year an ICC Women's Tournament was held in Bangladesh. The United States of America fielded a team in that tournament. Our ladies performed remarkably well. Our fairer sex is still working hard at improving their cricket skills. There are tournaments held in different parts of the country with players vying for national selection.
The ICC expects that all their cricket-playing member-countries to maintain an ongoing women's cricket program. The United States of American Cricket Association has such a program and requires that all of its cricket regions run a program for women's cricket. I know within the New York Region tournament for the ladies are held a few times during each year.
I must admit that I had never been to a women's cricket game. But a few years ago I accidently tuned in to a channel televising a Women's Cricket Tournament from Australia. New Zealand was playing Australia. I was in total awe at the level of cricket skill exhibited by the ladies. The next night I watched India taking on Pakistan. So intense was my interest that I watched the remaining matches of that tournament.
The New York Cricket Region of USACA is doing what it can to develop Women's Cricket in this part of the country. On Saturday, September 15, 2012, NYR Coach Linden Fraser and his assistants would have his squads of exciting women cricketers playing two Twenty20 games at the Gateway Cricket Complex, Erskine Street, Brooklyn. N.Y. (Belt Parkway, Exit (national)t 15). Games commence at 10:00. A.M. According to Coach Fraser and my contact, Triholder Marshall, "these games are to get the women prepared for any tournament (national) in the near future...."
Cricket fans, if you have never seen a women's cricket match, then this is your opportunity to see, not one but two games. Come out and watch some of the best female cricketers in the USA. Many of these ladies represented the USA in Bangladesh earlier this year. Among the players are national players: Triholder Marshall, Doris Francis, Karen Bayles, Samantha Ramautar, Ivy Mahabir, Roselyn Emannuel, Joan Alexander, Melissa Sandy, Delkash Shahriarianan, and Sahar Azmat.
Joining these stars are Regional players: Joy Jones, Gulrukh and Bushra Imram, Lorena Vitte, Nayeesha Khan, Reeya Mohammed, Carleen and Coleen Edwards.
School girls Safa Nazeer and Cynthis Lakhand who participated in the 2012 PSAL Varsity Cricket Program would be on hand displaying their budding talents. The former Captain of the Canadian women's cricket team, Mona Persaud, would also be appearing in these games.
Players interested in taking part in these games should contact Coach Fraser at 1-646-235-3243. Better yet show up at Gateway ready to play.