Women`s T20 cricket tournament kicks off in Lahore

Karachi: The first edition of Benazir Bhutto Twenty 20 Women`s Cricket Tournament organised by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) kicked off Sunday in the country`s eastern city of Lahore.

Totally six national teams -- Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Federal Capital and Zarai Tarqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) -- are participating in the competition. Each team will play one match against the others to reach the final, which will be played Jan 24.

Pakistan`s federal minister for Information and Broadcasting, Firdous Ashiq Awan, inaugurated the tournament at Kinnaird College cricket ground in Lahore, Xinhua reported Monday.

Talking to the media after the inauguration ceremony, the minister said women`s cricket initiative would raise a soft image of Pakistan internationally and will help dispel a negative picture of the country regarding women rights.

Fauzia Gilani, First Lady of Pakistan, also watched one of the matches on the opening day.

All the matches will be televised live at the sports channel of the state-run Pakistan Television (PTV). Entry for spectators will be free.

Bushra Aitzaz, chief of the PCB women`s wing, told media that the cricket event would be held regularly.

"It will be an opportunity for our top players to show their talent and improve their techniques and skills by competing against the best in the country," she said.

The winning team of the tournament will get USD 1,112 prize money while the runners-up will be given USD 555. Player of the tournament and player of the match will receive USD 277 and USD 110, respectively.

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