A large group of women sporting matching, white Titans Divas shirts formed a circle near the green cricket pitch of Grassick Park in Regina.
They’re talking, laughing, strapping on knee pads, putting on gloves and playing catch.
There’s a nervous, excited energy reverberating from the ring — for the first time in Saskatchewan, women have the makings of their own cricket team.
The meet-up earlier this week marks the fourth women’s cricket session held this summer for the new faction of Titans Sports and Social Club.
The Titans Divas’ slogan is “one team, one dream,” and it fits. It’s exactly what many of the more than 20 women from all over the world (there are members from Jamaica, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and elsewhere) have been waiting for.
Many of the women say they’ve been fans and spectators of the male-dominated sport since childhood, but haven’t tried playing until now.
A ‘gentleman’s game’
There are more than 50 men’s cricket teams in Saskatchewan, and the lack of access for women is not a localized issue. Across the globe, the game is fondly referred to as a “gentleman’s game.”
Amily Aziz grew up in Bangladesh and remembers struggling to convince her female, childhood friends to play cricket with her on the streets.
“I just love it. It’s one my favourite games,” the 17-year-old said. “Especially in southeast Asia, everyone loves cricket.”
Despite Aziz’s passion for the pastime, she was never given the opportunity to play until recently.
Aziz recalled receiving a call from Salman Kahn, founder of the Titans Sports and Social Club, and feeling a mixture of joy and hesitation when he mentioned getting women to play. At first, she said “no.”
“I don’t want to be alone,” she recalled telling him. “He said, ‘Don’t worry: once you show up, then other girls will follow you.'”
Kahn was right.
Women want to play
Aziz said at the first Titans Divas session a handful of her friends came to watch.
Now, there are more than 20 women on the pitch — so many that they…