Pak-born woman proud to be UK`s first Muslim county cricketer

Last Updated: Jul 10, 2012, 18:08 PM IST

London: Pakistan-born Salma Bi, has said she is proud to have made history as the first-ever Muslim Asian to represent the Worcestershire Senior Women``s County Squad.

"It is something that has made my life`s story worth telling. I am the third highest wicket-taker in the entire region - top two being men and the next girl at the 10th position. I feel these achievements of mine have helped boost women``s cricket too," a newspaper quoted Salma, 26, as saying.

"Also, I don`t just play cricket but as a highly competent coach, I have encouraged many Asian girls to step forward and play cricket. They see me as a role model and it makes me feel a lot more comfortable. It``s not just about winning awards but being recognised for the work you do which matters," she added.

Salma is currently employed by the England Cricket Board as a coach for Worcestershire as well as Warwickshire, and is also the winner of the Asian Women of Achievement Award 2012 for her cricketing achievements.

Salma, who came to the UK from Pakistan when she was just six months old, is also a registered Haemodialysis Specialist Adult Nurse and an Olympics volunteer.

"My parents have always been a constant source of encouragement. They saw sports as a way to keep us occupied as well as focused about life - to have a goal and to achieve it," she said.

Finance is a big issue in women`s cricket since they aren`t paid as much unless they play internationally, Salma said.

"My nursing job pays for my sporting activities," she added.

According to Salma, if women`s cricket is promoted a lot more and wider across the globe, many more new and young players could be discovered.