Srinagar:A group of cricket loving Kashmiri girls are defying their own boundaries to play competitive cricket and breathe a new lease of life for sport in the valley torn by conflict.
Call it the Chak de effect in women's sport or the near return of normalcy to the valley, women's cricket is gaining ground in more ways than one.
The local bodies are making efforts to improve the infrastructure to make the sport more popular amongst girls.
"Well I think that we have had a great beginning with girls increasingly taking to playing cricket. It shows that our girls are not lacking, be it education, where they are showing immense merit and also in sports, where they are surging forward," said Farooq Abdullah, President, J&K Cricket Association.
And reflecting that surge is the valley's first ever cricket league tournament for women. To begin with, it has been limited to North Zone teams with the Kashmiri girls first playing Delhi and then Punjab in a Test and a one day match each.
"Earlier girls were not keen to join cricket, but since competition has increased they are forthcoming. I want to thank the media for highlighting events and the parents too are enthusiastic about pushing their talented wards," said Saima, cricketer.
These women are treading the path not only to their personal freedom but also leading the way for other girls to follow.