Muscat – The national cricket governing body, Oman Cricket, is all set to launch a new initiative focusing on the development of cricket among girls and women with #Cricket4Her programme.
Oman Cricket hopes to attract the girls in Oman to play the game and take it up at a competitive level.
The start of the initiative will begin with the hosting of indoor and outdoor softball tournaments for girls and women in October. The indoor softball event begins on October 6 while the outdoor softball tournament will begin on October 19.
Oman Cricket’s treasurer and one of the brainchild behind the new initiative, Alkesh Joshi, said: The #Cricket4Her is an exceptionally important programme for Oman Cricket. We hope to revitalise the approach towards women’s cricket and the entire OC board and the cricket fraternity are behind this programme.
“The aim is to bring more girls and women to play cricket and we will start the #Cricket4Her programme with the hosting of indoor and outdoor softball cricket tournaments in October. We hope to introduce the girls to hardball cricket gradually as the aim is to have a big pool of cricket-playing women and girls.”
The top OC official revealed that the blueprint of the #Cricket4Her programme has received approval from the International Cricket Council (ICC) and they “have appreciated the initiative and are delighted with the progress made by Oman Cricket.”
Joshi said: “We would like to have more and more girls and women embrace this lovely game. We have begun an exciting journey of women’s cricket and we hope that women’s cricket can flourish in the future in Oman. We believe that the women cricketers could carry the legacy forward of the men’s national team that has reached great heights at the international level.”
Elaborating further, OC’s chief development officer Duleep Mendis said that “the Cricket4Her programme will establish a pathway for women and girls in cricket across Oman.”
He added, “By providing dedicated tournaments, we aim to foster a supportive environment where women and girls can excel in cricket. This pathway will lead the way for talent development, skill enhancement, and the nurturing of a strong and empowered community of women cricketers.”
Among the major highlights of the new initiative are the mantra of 4Cs – coaching, competition, commitment and community.
#Cricket4Her will focus on providing coaching and training to women and girls through qualified coaches. Participants could receive expert guidance and support to enhance their skills and performance. First-timers will be given special attention by OC coaching staff.
Mendis said: “The programme also lays emphasis on the importance of fostering a competitive spirit among women cricketers. #Cricket4Her aims to develop skills in an action-packed environment, with focus on having fun and being active. The initiative will ensure that cricket is represented in schools/ social clubs/ communities. Girls will be encouraged to take their cricketing journey seriously, committing themselves to regular training, practice, and continuous improvement.
“The initiative also hopes to create a sense of community and aims to nurture a strong and empowered community of women cricketers, coaches, and supporters who share a passion for the game. This community will provide a supportive network for players to thrive and inspire each other.”
Mendis added “By focusing on these 4C’s, #Cricket4Her aims to develop a thriving women’s cricket ecosystem in Oman, where players can experience growth, empowerment, and success in the sport.”
The OC’s announcement on the initiative comes weeks after the ICC commemorated the 50th anniversary of the first-ever Cricket World Cup – the first-ever Women’s World Cup in June-July 1973. The tournament was two whole years before the first men’s Cricket World Cup was contested in 1975.
The global growth of women’s cricket is one of the ICC’s six strategic priority projects. Part of the mission is to grow the number of women cricket fans and participants in the game worldwide. ICC’s commitment to women’s cricket was also underlined when it announced recently that there would be equal pay for men’s and women’s cricket teams at ICC events.