Inspirational Nahida’s journey to the top

Inspirational nahida’s journey to the top0

Nahida Akter’s cricketing path has been nothing short of inspirational, beginning as a little girl living in a fourth-class government employee quarters with her family and dreamt of playing international cricket, to becoming the national team’s most reliable spinner.

Nahida yesterday added another exciting chapter to her career as she became the country’s first woman cricketer to be named ICC’s player of the month, marking a special place in the list of ‘firsts’ in Bangladesh cricket.

The left-arm spinner won the accolade following her player-of-the-series performance against Pakistan in November, when she took seven wickets in three games and was instrumental in Bangladesh’s 2-1 series victory at home.

On paper, Nahida beat out two other candidates for the award: her compatriot Fargana Hoque and Pakistan’s Sadia Iqbal.

However, this honour was a testament to Nahida’s years of struggle against financial limitations and public humiliation, which nearly ended the 23-year-old’s cricketing career 11 years ago.

Nahida’s ambitions of becoming a cricketer were snatched away in 2012 when she was denied admission to BKSP, the country’s oldest and largest sports educational organisation.

“I applied for a BKSP trial in 2012, but I was not chosen.” Then my brother Nazim Ahmed advised my mother that I should concentrate on my schoolwork and stop playing cricket. “I burst into tears,” Nahida told The Daily Star in October 2020.

When other members of her family had given up hope, Nahida stated her mother still believed in her dream and encouraged her. Her mother’s prayers were answered the next year when Nahida was admitted to BKSP.

Her brother later bought her cricket equipment, and her father Hamdu Miah took great delight in being referred to be ‘Nahida’s father’.

However, Nahida’s narrative of struggle is not an outlier, but rather a trend in the country’s women’s cricket.

Many of Nahida’s colleagues have similar tales and overcame significant obstacles to make it to international cricket.

Even after reaching the top level, the women’s team must perform substantially more with far fewer resources in order to get a fraction of the adulation that the national men’s team enjoys.

Still, an increasing number of young girls from all around the country, many from low-income families, aspire to wear the red and green jersey like Nahida.

For those girls, Nahida’s triumphant narrative will serve as an inspiration since, like Nahida, the sky is the limit for all of them.

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