While the absence of Australian players in the Women’s T20 Challenge was surprising, the inclusion of a Jammu and Kashmir cricketer, Jasia Akhtar has come as a huge boost for aspiring cricketers in the valley.

Jasia told that she received a call from BCCI on April 24 and she has been told to join the team on May 2

It is a big achievement for this young girl as she will be the part of first women’s T20 challenge team from Jammu and Kashmir. Jasia will represent Trailblazers, led by Indian batswoman Smriti Mandhana, in the competition.

Jasia Akhtar had played for India Reds in the Women’s Challenger Trophy last year. Jasia had moved from Jammu and Kashmir to Punjab in 2013. Jasia, who hails from Shopian district in Jammu and Kashmir, has already been part of the India camp twice.

Jasia, the daughter of a farmer from the valley, said her parents were fully supportive of her move from Jammu and Kashmir to Punjab. Jasia has been representing Punjab in domestic cricket.

“I realised soon that I had to leave J&K if I wanted to continue playing cricket. Facilities were not good. The deteriorating law and order situation made it worse.I must say I’m lucky in that sense. My parents never objected to my move to Punjab. They have complete faith in me,” Jasia was quoted as saying by The New Indian Express.

Jasia has been asked to report in Jaipur on May 2 and the J&K cricketer will take a flight from Amritsar to the Pink City on the said date.

While Smriti Mandhana will be leading the Trailblazers, India’s limited-overs captain Harmanpreet Kaur will lead the Supernovas. Veteran star Mithali Raj will be captaining the third team, Velocity.

Notably, Harmanpreet Kaur’s Supernovas defeated the Trailblazers by three wickets in Mumbai in the Women’s T20 Challenge match held last year during IPL 2018.