By Nidhi Kinhal
For cricket-lovers in India and Pakistan, the highlight of any tournament is the match against each other. It is a sustained divide in today’s media, and the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 match was no different. Sports on nationalistic lines is often a hotchpotch of integration, diversity, tensions, and conflict.
So when Pakistani women’s team cricketer Kainat Imtiaz took to Instagram to share her admiration for the Indian women’s team cricketer Jhulan Goswami, it was heartwarming to say the least. In her message, Kainat said that she first saw the Indian cricket team at the Asia Cup in 2005. “I was the ball picker during the tornament… I saw @jhulangoswami. The fastest bowler of that time. I was so impressed that i chose cricket as a career. Specificly fast bowling” (sic), she said.
She met Jhulan at the ODI after a gap of twelve years, and it couldn’t be more inspiring. Women’s sports has just begun to garner some limelight, with men’s games usually getting more attention, and the women’s team instead being asked who their favourite male cricketer is. But Kainat’s post just shows how female solidarity can strengthen not just bonds between Pakistanis and Indians, but also the position of women in cricket. Imagine a chain of Pakistani and Indian female cricketers being inspired by, and standing up for one another. I’d like to think that rivalry and sexism would soon be bowled over.
You can check out Imtiaz’s Instagram feed here.