London: Indian-origin Isa Guha, who is the first Asian woman to play cricket for England on equal pay, is keen to set an example in front of other aspiring young female cricketers from Asia in order to encourage them to take up the sport.
Guha, who was the number one bowler in the women``s world rankings in 2008, believes Asian parents generally discourage their daughters from taking up sports, and is hopeful that her success story might inspire many other Asian girls.
“My parents came to England from Kolkata in the 70s, and my brother and I were born here. I have a tremendous affiliation with England because it``s the country where I was born and bred, and I will always support England first in the cricket,” Guha wrote in her column for the Guardian.
“Except for when they``re not playing and India is - then I``ll support India. It``s important not to forget your roots, but it``s also important not to take for granted what growing up in England has given me either,” she added.
“My parents could tell I was interested in it too, so they took me down to the local club as well. There were no other girls, so I just started playing with the boys. I loved getting them out,” she said.
Guha further wrote: “Asian parents generally tend to channel their children, especially their daughters, into studying and not sport.”
“I see a lot of Asian girls playing cricket now, but they all tend to drop off when they hit 16 or 17 years old and give it up. I was lucky, because my parents always encouraged me,” she further added.
“I feel a responsibility now to set an example to other Asians, and that also makes me feel proud,” she concluded.