Pakistan women’s cricket team all-rounder Nida Dar was named by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in its T20I team of the year 2019.
“My brother did not want me to play cricket, but I was passionate about it as a young girl.” In an interview with the PCB, Nida narrated her story with passion, part laughingly, part seriously. (Maybe because it had all worked out for her in the end, luckily).
“I made an arrangement with Punjab University whereby I would play during the week, but not on the weekends, when my brother was home, so he wouldn’t get to know of my play.”
She chuckled at the mention of her name coming in the media when she had played exceptionally well and won a match for her team, fearing that her brother would read the news of her sporting exploits in the newspaper.
It was the positive attitude with which she related her story that made the difference between a winner who defies all odds and carries on with her struggles, and those who lose their dreams to other’s wishes, (and stay bitter their entire lives).
32 year old Nida is obviously pleased with the selection:
“It’s a proud moment for me, for PCB, and for Pakistan.” – Nida Dar
Nida says that the biggest takeaway from her cricket success was the change in mindsets in her family. Whereby now, her brother, who previously attempted to ignore, or hide the fact that his sister played cricket, proudly stands up and introduces himself as Nida Dar’s brother!
Now he tells everyone: “I am Nida Dar’s brother.” She laughs triumphantly!
With the ICC T20I nomination under her belt, she has hopefully inspired many young girls to step out onto the playing field and fulfill their dreams, even if their brothers aren’t too happy about it in the beginning.
It’s always good for a player to get recognition like this. I hope that this achievement also motivates other players to do well.” -Nida
It;s important to point out here, that while many other players from other countries are selected to lead or be part of the International playing squad, what makes Pakistani sportswomen stand out is that they have had to fight hard to get to that place. They have to battle gender bias, family tradition and values and a personal challenge of ‘making it or breaking it.” Only the best will go through to make the National team. Many will have to give up their dream of ever playing cricket again.
Let’s hope that there are many future Nida’s out there who read of her triumphs and continue to believe in themselves against all odds. And if any of their brothers are reading this, take heart, be smart, be like Nida’s brother and be proud to support your sister in her passion!
This fighting spirit defines our young girls, who struggle against all odds to prove to themselves and their families that they CAN! More power to you Nida!
We wish you more success in the upcoming year!