February 21st was a historic day in the Karachi Gymkhana Cricket ground. For the first time in its 134-year history, Gymkhana hosted a match in which men and women played side by side. The teams creating history were brought together by an incredibly important cause – to raise funds to provide school girls Cricket equipment so that they have access to excellent resources to enjoy the game. KheloKricket teamed up with Australian journalist and social media personality, Dennis Freedman, to shed light on this cause.
Karachi Gymkhana took on the Super Daddy Cricket Club in this historic clash. Gymkhana batted first as openers Azhar Khan and Arsalan Malik got them off to a fiery start, both scoring half centuries. Hafsa Khalid consolidated the innings further with her 42 from 41 deliveries. At the end of 22 overs, Gymkhana had posted a steep target of 194 on the board. Super Daddy Cricket Club’s batsmen responded with a relatively steady start to their chase. Rehan Sheikh managed 37 from 29 and Kainat Imtiaz scored 14 from 12 deliveries. Dennis Freedman, batting at No. 4, stuck around to produce 10 solid runs from 10 deliveries. However, the middle order lost its way through the chase as Maham Tariq and Soha Baig tore through the opposition, picking two wickets apiece. Arham Latif provided a final push with 29 runs from 15 balls, but Super Daddy CC could only post 153 on the board by the end of the second innings. Karachi Gymkhana won the match by 40 runs.
With Dennis Freedman’s participation, the match allowed this cause to attract positive attention from all across the country. Dennis was overwhelmed with the day’s events as he stated: “I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of today, to give back to a country I have fallen in love with and, above all, to be able to create some form of positive impact for the girls and the sport we all love.” His words perfectly summed up what this cause meant to the people who were participating in and encouraging this initiative. Although women’s sports have come a long way in Pakistan, they still require massive support to excel further. This match proved the value of breaking down traditional gender boundaries within the world of sports. It was one step on the pathway to prove that Cricket is a sport without limitations and that no one deserves to be left behind in this game we all love.