Ambitious: Is an England call-up around the corner?
Worcestershire County and MCC representative, Salma Bi, talks exclusively to 'The Sporting Opinion' about women's cricket and her aspirations for the future.

Name: Salma Bi
Born: February 12th 1987 - Pakistan
Playing Role: Spin Bowler
Team(s): Five Ways Old Edwardians & Worcestershire
Education: Birmingham City University

Spending her early years in Pakistan, Salma moved to Birmingham as a toddler and as she developed, so did her passion for cricket.

At the age of nine she began to teach herself to bowl after hours of watching hero, Shane Warne, and her bat, hand-made by her father, was in constant use.

This hobby quickly turned into an obsession but she found it extremely difficult to persuade her parents to accept her passion and an intriguing 'Bend it like Beckham' type situation arose.

Training sessions had to be missed on occasion but when medals and trophies began to roll in, it was difficult to deny their talented daughter's dreams.

More than a decade later and Salma now represents her local side, Five Ways Old Edwardians, as well as Worcestershire County Women's side.

Playing against both men and women, Salma is delighted to also represent Lichfield league side, Wall CC, and has been recently asked to join Division One men's side, Pickwick CC.

"I look forward to taking on the challenge of playing at different levels both in the male and female squads. So far I have performed well with the bat and ball and I'm also enjoying my time playing cricket. As well as this, I am pushing my younger sister, Anisha Bi, to follow in my footsteps," she explained.

Salma is sponsored by 'Pro Elite Sports' along with former England bowler, Sajid Mahmood, and she hopes her dreams can be achieved alongside pushing others to achieve theirs.

"My sponsors are glad to promote Sajid and I. As well as dealing with the critics, I'm gaining a lot of followers who believe I can follow my dreams. I'm also a level 2 coach and run a club on monday evenings for a women's group," she continued.

"As well as this, I work for 'Local Leagues' and visit schools to coach during lunchtime. I work for Warwickshire Cricket Board which involves coaching at clubs as well and I recently started a project with West Midlands Police to coach in secondary schools within the community and raise awareness for girl's cricket".

It's refreshing to see any sportsperson recycling their knowledge and talent with youngsters aspiring to follow in their footsteps and what makes this even more impressive is the fact that Salma is a full-time haemodialysis nurse and campaigns for numerous charities.

Her obvious intelligence and upbeat attitude means that the cricketing world is her oyster and an optimistic philosphy towards her achievements will no doubt help her along the way.

"Doing anything in life means we have to rationalise it, there is a purpose to why I put everything into playing cricket. It costs me thousands each year with the time consumption and travelling but it's all for the love of the game and it's not just a hobby.

I feel I have made a career out of playing cricket and I have been versatile by playing at different levels and for different teams but I just hope that one day this can be recognised and I do get given the oppportunity to perform for England and make my family proud."

An international call-up isn't out of the question either with England players like Caroline Atkins, Claire Taylor, Danni Wyatt, Georgia Elwiss and Charlotte Edwards all being impressed by Salma's bowling technique and consistency.

"I know I can make it. I refused playing for Pakistan and Dubai Women's Teams in the hope of something better awaiting me."

This determination is also reflected in Salma's attempts to raise the profile of women's cricket.

"Women's cricket should be shown on daytime television as it will cost less than Sky Sports. Women should play Test Matches too as it would give the girls more experience of playing cricket at every angle and would help the girls step up to the bigger challenges of cricket.

If I can be a voice for women's cricket, I will carry on going and provide as many answers as I can for the people out there."

As women's cricket evolves and expands, be sure to keep an eye out for Salma Bi and her little jingle that will help anyone remember her philosophy and dreams.

'Be Yourself, Be Unique, Believe, Queen Ov Speen'.
Asmir Khan
8/4/2011 10:27:05 am

Good luck to her, great article.

8/30/2012 06:34:00 pm

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joseph aidan


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