Malakand - The Swat district administration announced on Monday its intention to organise a cricket match for female players, following the postponement of a match scheduled for the previous Sunday due to security concerns.
According to the district administration officials, the match organisers did not seek consultation or obtain permission from the administration regarding security measures. Given the sensitive security situation in the Charbagh area, they advised the organisers to delay the match.
An official assured that sports activities for female players would be arranged with adequate preparation within a week.
The initiative to arrange a cricket match for college girls in Kabal and Saidu Sharif was spearheaded by young athlete Ayesha Ayaz and her father Ayaz Naik. However, before the match could formally commence, local residents, including religious leaders, prevented the female players from using the Charbagh Cricket Stadium.
Ayaz Naik, the match organiser, told media that they had obtained permission from the ground administration and the Police Department, assuming it would be a routine activity since sports activities were already taking place in Malam Jabba area of Swat.
Ihsanullah, the chairman of Charbagh Tehsil Council, has also welcomed sports activities in the area and pointed out that they were already taking place in Charbagh town and Malam Jabba. He said it would be in the best interest of the girls to enjoy these games without interference from men.
Meanwhile, a local religious scholar stated that there were security concerns in the area, suggesting that girls might be vulnerable to threats if allowed to play in an open field
“Nobody is opposed to girls’ involvement in sports activities but such events should be held within enclosed spaces or buildings in accordance with local traditions,” he added.