The first women’s cricket tournament in Bangladesh commenced at the end of January with a match at the new Mirpur national stadium .A crowd of 5000 were in attendance as M. Abdul Aziz, President of the Bangladesh Cricket Board inaugurated proceedings. Ten teams are taking part in the event across the country and selectors will choose the 30 best players to form the basis of Bangladesh’s first national squad.

Matches are 30-overs in duration and will run throughout February across six venues. Hamida Begum of the Bangladesh Cricket Board Women’s Wing says: "Our objective is to build a women's national cricket team. We will also invite foreign teams to play in the country."

The cricketers are students and members of the armed forces. “Our girls have come a long way, overcoming sports and social barriers," says Parveen Putul, coach of Dhaka Women. “They’re ready to play seriously and make cricket a career.”

Filed February 1 2007