Having a quiet day today as the M.E. has seen fit to descend in a belt of painful joints. Not to worry, I will spend the day researching for the four poems I have rumbling around my brain.
Not being very knowledgeable about cricket I have resorted to Googling for terms that may be useful. I know there is a whole ‘language’ for the game and wondered if there could be some inspiration or parallels to be drawn between its terminology and the amazing fact of a women’s team training in Afghanistan.
My first find was ‘corridor of uncertainty’ and it is gold dust considering both the stadium in which they are training and, more importantly, the very fact of their squad’s existence at all. The term means, and I quote from Wikipedia
“The corridor of uncertainty is a notional narrow area on and just outside a batsman’s off stump. If a delivery is in the corridor, it is difficult for a batsman to decide whether to leave the ball, play defensively or play an attacking shot. The term was popularised by former England batsman, now commentator, Geoffrey Boycott”
What appeals to me is the dilemma – those women had to make hard choices too, and chose to train and play and have the courage to envisage winning international acclaim in the Asia Cup when the environment around them is so hostile to women’s endeavours. That to me is much more than a game of cricket, it is a bold step towards freedom.
I have no intention of making this collection a feminist outcry, but I believe that credit must be given to those who work to improve their situation and that includes the interpretors and guides who work with the troops, the farmers who are willing to learn from the army vets about improved animal husbandry and those who are willing to grow pomegranates instead of opium poppies, those who join the new police force (and that includes 19 women who are training in secret) and the Afghan National Army, the girls who continue to go to school, and yes, the women cricketers.
All these people and many more who may never be known, whose endeavours may pass unnoticed, all of them are working for the good of their land, their country and I applaud them.