Abtaha Maqsood is Britain’s first hijab-wearing Muslim female to play international cricket.
Maqsood wants young British Muslim girls to take up the challenge and play cricket professionally despite cultural or religious barriers.
Maqsood’s parents are from Lahore, Pakistan. However, she herself was born in Glasgow, Scotland, on June 11, 1999. She started playing cricket as a little girl with her brothers and father in the garden of her house. At age 11, Maqsood joined ‘Poloc,’ a local cricket club.
At age 12, she was selected to represent Scotland’s under-17 squad against Ireland in a T20 tournament shortly after joining Poloc. Currently, she is playing for Birmingham Phoenix. The 22-year-old cricketer is playing for the new short format 200-ball cricket tournament “The Hundred” in England.
Abtaha Maqsood’s Biggest Support System was her Family
Local media house Geo. tv got a chance to speak to Abtaha at the Edgbaston Cricket Stadium in Birmingham. She revealed that her inspiration behind playing cricket is her partners and brothers. Unlike most desi families, Maqsood had her family’s support to pursue the sport as a profession. She said her father, in particular, was her top supporter.
She told Geo. tv correspondent, “My dad and my mom are both massive cricket lovers. But my dad, in particular, says all sports are important.”
The Choice to Wear Hijab
She said, “Wearing a hijab was my own choice. I went away to perform Umrah with my family when I was 11, and on our way back to the UK, I saw my mum started wearing hijab. So I asked her why was she wearing that, and then she told me [how it was a religious obligation], so I decided to wear one as well.”
She added, “It was really important for me at that time as it is now, and I’m going to keep wearing that”. Maqssod has represented Scotland’s national team 17 times in international T20 matches and has claimed 23 wickets in her career at a grand average of 12.28 so far.
You can play cricket and wear hijab at the same time, she said. “I really hope that people, when seeing me, could realize that it is possible to play cricket and wear hijab at the same time. And there are people out there who can support young girls through it if they really want to play cricket at a high level or any other professional sport for that matter”.
Nida Dar Becomes First Pakistani Cricketer to Take 100 T20I Wickets – Male or Female. Read the full story here:
Nida Dar, a team member of Pakistan Women’s Cricket, has written history by becoming the first-ever Pakistani cricketer to take 100 T20I wickets. It is notable to mention that she is the fifth woman cricketer to accomplish the achievement globally. Nida said that the title didn’t come easy to her. It took a lot of hard work and effort to work to achieve the milestone of 100 wickets.
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