The Inspirational Women’s Charity Cricket (IWCC) Tournament took to the crease on Sunday 18 August at Park Avenue Cricket Stadium in Bradford, where for the very first time, women (some of whom had never played cricket before) played to compete for a sum of money for their chosen charity and the IWCC 2019 cup.
The teams of 11 women that were playing named themselves Team Bradford, Team England, Team India and Team Pakistan.
The tournament made history as it saw the largest crowd gather at Park Avenue Cricket Stadium, since it re-opened, with hundreds in attendance. This included international Pakistani actress Mehwish Hayat, who was so inspired by the ladies, that she wanted to come and support them.
Mehwish said: “It is such a pleasure to be in Bradford and be at this amazing event. Cricket, inspirational women- what’s there not to like? Thank you to everyone here today, especially to Fatima Patel for inviting me and making this happen. It is so good to see so many families here; mums, dads and it especially pleases me to see so many children. Children are our future and we owe it to them to give them the best possible start in life.”
Mehwish has been announced as the new ambassador for Yorkshire charity Penny appeal and will be the first Pakistani actress to run the London marathon next year to raise vital funds to support vulnerable children by building schools for them in Pakistan.
Mehwish was joined by Bradford West MP and Shadow Minister of State for Women and Equalities on the pitch to open up the tournament where the two played a friendly over.
Naz Shah MP said: “Tournaments like these are important for the future of Bradford for the children of Bradford. To see our mothers, our sisters, wives coming out and participating is really breaking the stereotype, but also against the backdrop of the current situation in South Asia events like this show that here in Bradford there is great unity.”
Also, at the event were Lord Mayor Doreen Lee and VC of the University of Bradford Shirley Congdon, truly showcasing women power.
Lord Patel, also came to support the IWCC, and celebrated the game till the end, cheering with the crowd and celebrating the victory of the female participants.
The first game of the tournament began with Team Bradford V Team England. Team England led by
the effervescent Vanda Greenwood, Labour Councillor for Wrose won this match. This only added more interest for the second game between team India and team Pakistan.
It was an intense few games, closely played by all the ladies, but ultimately the winners were Team Pakistan, led by Ayesha Malik, who works at Yorkshire Housing as a Neighbourhood Team Leader.
On winning the trophy for team Pakistan, Ayesha said: I am delighted that my team won. They’ve worked hard for this and it certainly has paid off. We will most certainly be celebrating.
“We are also really delighted that we have managed to win this money for our chosen charity Yorkshire Children’s Trust, for whom this fund will go a long way.”
A total amount of £9000 was raised from sponsorships, where 50% will go to Park Avenue and the remaining 50% will go to Yorkshire Childrens Trust.
A further Gofundme page was also set up to encourage funds for the other three charities, which were Mind in Bradford (chosen charity for Team Bradford), Cancer Support Yorkshire (chosen charity for Team India) and Bradford Women’s Aid (chosen charity for Team England). The amount has reached over £3600 and will be open till the end of August for any wishing to donate.
The fund will then be split between the three charities. To donate go to: https://www.gofundme.com/f/iwcc-tournament-2019