The Spanish Women’s national team will make history next month when they head to France for their first ever T20I ranking international matches.
The squad of 20 will depart from Barcelona to Paris on the 4th of May to partake in a competition that also includes Jersey, France and Austria. All the matches will take place at Dreux cricket ground. Austria will be Spain’s first opponents on the 5th of May, followed by a match up with Jersey the next day. Saturday the 7th of May Spain have another fixture with Austria before finishing the tour with a game against the hosts, France on the Sunday. The squad then fly back from Paris to Barcelona the morning of the 9th.
(Aliza Fatima Saleem Arra of Ospreys and Jaspreet Grang Kaur of Barcelona Hawks at the coin toss of a recent league game with Neil Brook)
The majority of the the squad are Barcelona based, representing three of the clubs in the inaugural Women’s league in Cataluyna, whilst captain Elspeth Fowler is playing her club cricket with La Manga, and teenager Amy Brown-Carrera plys her trade with Wrenthorpe Ladies in Yorkshire.
(Samaia Basharat – Barcelona Hawks)
The full playing squad :
Elspeth Fowler La Manga Cricket Club (Captain)
Aliza Fatima Saleem Arra Valencia Ospreys
Hifsa Butt Madrid Eagles
Jaspreet Grang Kaur Barcelona Hawks
Memoona Riaz Quresh Muhammad Madrid Eagles
Muskan Naseeb Barcelona Hawks
Rabia Ahmed Iqbal Barcelona Hawks
Rabia Mushtaq Madrid Eagles
Samaia Basharat Barcelona Hawks
Simranjit Grang Kaur Valencia Ospreys
Tashiba Mirza Barcelona Hawks
Uswa Syed Valencia Ospreys
Wania Arif Malik Valencia Ospreys
Zenab Batool Ahmed Iqbal Madrid Eagles
Amy Brown-Carrera Wrenthorpe Ladies.
The 15 players will be accompanied by team coach Neil Brook and team manager Nadim Aseq A Arman, Maria del Sol Carrera Vivar, and two members from FEEB (Fundació per l’Esport L’Educació de Barcelona) Carla Burriel Carranza and Ana Villalobos Jiménez as official members of the twenty strong party.
Team coach Neil Brook said of the opportunity, ”
Exciting times ahead for Spanish National women’s squad, although I’ve only been involved with the group for a few months, they’ve shown so much enthusiasm and willingness to learn, they deserve this opportunity to play at a international tournament in France.
Nadim and Shahbaz have worked so hard putting this group together, under very difficult circumstances and are a credit to cricket, for most of the girls it will be their first full competitive matches but they’re ready to take up the challenge.
One thing I’ve learnt about this group of girls is how much it means to them as individuals and as a team, the girls are ready to take this fantastic opportunity and the huge challenge ahead of them”.
(Team captain Elspeth Fowler, and Rabia Mushtaq of Madrid Eagles far right at a recent training camp. Umra Basharat of Barcelona Hawks in the middle)
The team manager, Nadim Aseq A Arman added ” I am so excited to be part of this historic moment for Spanish cricket. All the girls have worked hard and never lost hope, even in the most difficult of circumstances. Thanks to Cricket España for giving the team this opportunity. Special thanks to Ana, Juan and Carla from FEEB and Cricket Jove Barcelona, because without their support it would not be possible to make this time. Also thanks to Shahbaz Shaukat for his time and dedication to train the girls to get them ready to play cricket ”
Finally a special mention goes to Grizzly Bear Sports who are helping to sponsor Cricket Espana through supplying kit and equipment.
(Amy Brown-Carrera of Wrenthorpe Ladies in Yorkshire).