Amna Sharif Tariq
As the Kuwait Women's Cricket team begins preparing for the two big tournaments - The Asia Cup Qualifiers and The ICC World Cup Qualifiers (Asia), we caught up with Amna Sharif Tariq, Captain of the team. Read on to find out how Amna feels about the upcoming matches and her journey into the cricketing world.
"We have two big tournaments coming up this year- The Asia Cup Qualifiers & The ICC World Cup Qualifiers (Asia). The girls are extremely pumped, working hard, and determined to showcase their talents as these are the opportunities we long for as cricketers. We also want to make the best use of this opportunity to gain much-needed exposure and bring glory to Kuwait."
What is your cricketing background? How did you start playing cricket?
I have always played cricket with friends for fun as I loved the game since childhood. It later turned out to become a passion and there was no stopping me when I joined the Kuwait Women’s National camp in 2008. However, I could not continue due to educational commitments. I have been playing hardball cricket since 2013 officially.
What else do you do besides play cricket?
I work full time in the field of Management specifically Supply Chain.
Why do you enjoy playing cricket? What do you love most about playing in a team?
Purely because of passion, it is a stressbuster, something that I look forward to every week and it gives me a different kind of happiness playing the sport, meeting my teammates and the overall feel itself is inexplicable. What I love most about playing in a team is that it teaches you tolerance, respect for every member including your coaches, and makes you more disciplined. Also, it teaches you that with teamwork you can make the impossible, possible. I have always believed that the strength of the team is each of its member, and the strength of each member is the whole team. When you start believing this, it makes a difference on and off the field. Every member has something special in them which can work out for the overall benefit of the team. We are also a group of girls coming from various countries, religions, cultures and backgrounds yet we are like one family - that is one of the most beautiful things about it.
What is the next big tournament for Kuwait and how are you feeling about it?
We have two big tournaments coming up this year- The Asia Cup Qualifiers & The ICC World Cup Qualifiers (Asia). The girls are extremely pumped, working hard, and determined to showcase their talents as these are the opportunities we long for as cricketers. We also want to make the best use of this opportunity to gain much-needed exposure and bring glory to Kuwait.
What preparation is Kuwait doing? (how many times a week are you training, playing games etc)
We practice every week during weekends to improve our skills and be able to build the best team possible. We are also putting in the extra hours during weekdays despite full-time work commitments under the guidance of our respective Coaches Mr. Ghayour Ahmed & Mr. Tariq Shah through virtual sessions. We are currently on a 4-week break due to the Holy Month of Ramadan and will resume in full swing provided the COVID restrictions are lifted post the festive season.
What are the challenges for Kuwait women's cricket?
Belonging to an associate nation, we do face a lot of challenges such as limited cricket grounds, facilities, availability of players, time constraints and so on. However, the Kuwait Cricket Board has taken various steps to enhance the opportunities, prioritize women’s cricket and realistically meet shortcomings - or rather the best way possible. We are hopeful that in the coming years Women’s cricket will evolve and have a brighter future under the leadership of our Director General Mr. Sajid Ashraf.
What is the structure like in Kuwait for women's cricket?
Is there a full-time coach?
Our Coaches coach during the weekends.
Is there a strength and conditioning program?
Not as yet but this in the pipeline.
Are players financially remunerated at all?
In a remarkable move towards the development of Women’s Cricket, Kuwait Cricket board for the very first time in April 2021 announced contracts for 7 players based on fitness, discipline and various considerable factors. These are players who have provided years of extraordinary service, commitment and hard work to Women’s cricket in Kuwait. We are extremely grateful and applaud this initiative taken by our President Mr. Haidar Farman, Director General Mr. Sajid Ashraf, Women’s Cricket Director Mr. Husnain Arshad & National and Coach Mr. Pushpakumara. We visualize a brighter future and I hope this will inspire many girls and women to take up the sport professionally allowing us to see women’s cricket flourish in the country with a solid base to reach our bigger dream.
Is there a physio?
No, we currently do not have a physio.
When was the women's team first formed?
What is the plan for the development of the team?
Along with the announcement of national contracts, Kuwait Cricket has recently concluded a softball tournament consisting of 8 women’s teams to promote the sport among girls and women in the country, there are plans to schedule a leather ball tournament too. Furthermore, we have formed a development squad of girls shortlisted from the softball tournament that will undergo training and development to allow top talent to move into the national squad. The board has also partnered with MEC, a study group to provide scholarship/discount programs to registered players. The women’s team now has their uniforms and Kits sponsored by T10 similar to our respective male counterparts. We know that there is a lot more work to be done and any phase of development is strenuous, however with the recent initiatives and current leadership we anticipate only progress to keep the flag of women’s cricket flying high no matter what.
Kuwait Women's Cricket Team