The countdown for Cricket World Cup has begun and to add to cricketing fever, women in Bradford are looking to get in touch with their sporty side by enjoying a friendly game of cricket followed by high tea this International Women’s Day.

International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on 8 March. The celebrations are focused on the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day 2019 is of #BalanceforBetter. It’s a call to action for driving gender balance across the world.

Women have certainly come along way and this is clearly evidenced from the profiles of women who have signed up to play in the International Women’s Charity Cricket (IWCC) Tournament, which is a partnership initiative between the Inspirational Women Foundation (IWF), English & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation (YCF).

The IWCC consists of four teams of 11 women, who come from a range of professions such as A&E Doctor, Dentist, Journalist, politicians, solicitors and entrepreneurs, who do not play cricket and lead generally very busy lives, to come together and play cricket for charity. The teams are called: Team England, Team India, Team Kashmir and Team Pakistan. They will compete to win a sum of money to give to their chosen charity.

The women participating in the IWCC currently meet up three times a week for cricket practice to help shape their cricketing skills leading up to the big tournament day, set to take place in August 2019.

The practice sessions have been so enjoyable that the women now want to invite other women to come and join them for one day and see just how much fun cricket or playing any sport can be.

The event titled ‘Cricket and Cake’ will also be attended by professional female coaches and players, which includes professional female cricket player Amna Rafiq, who has been championing women’s cricket ever since she got the chance to play at county level for Leicestershire and Rutland Cricket.

Organiser and founder of the Inspirational Women’s Foundation, Fatima Patel said: “This is perhaps one of the most exciting female projects IWF has been involved in. The women who come to play as part of the IWCC are really enjoying playing cricket and it shows, because they are such busy ladies, managing their high-profile careers and home life and to then make more time for cricket practice shows their passion and commitment.

“What started off as a challenge to get just two teams of 11 women to play has grown double the size, this shows how much women, particularly BAME women are underestimated.

“It’s fantastic that we can now open this up for other ladies to get a taster of how much fun sport can be. I am looking forward to seeing as many women from across the district to attend as possible”

Nasa Hussain, Community Development Officer at Yorkshire Cricket Foundation added: “I am so impressed with the desire from women, particularly those from BAME community to want to come and play cricket.

“It’s great to see the passion that they play with and I am glad that YCF have been able to play a part in helping provide resources for the women to come and play in a safe and fun environment.”

The ‘Cricket and Cake’ event is a free event open to all women and takes place on Friday 8 March between 6 – 8pm at the Carlton Bolling School, Sports Hall on Undercliffe Lane. Cakes and tea have been generously donated by Bradford’s Regal Foods with support from YCF, ECB and IWF.

High numbers are expected, so women are advised to get there early to avoid disappointment.

For more information call 01274 735 657