Kuwait Cricket has announced contracts for seven women’s national team players. The contracts will run for the duration of 2021. In addition, the entire women’s national team will benefit from match fees as well as performance-based bonuses for international tournaments and bilateral series. The announcement follows a similar move by Kuwait Cricket to award the men’s national team with annual contracts.
Contracts have been split into categories A and B. The six players awarded Category A contracts include captain, Amna Tariq, and veteran Priyada Murali. Murali captained the U-19 team at its debut tournament in 2009 as a 15-year old.
Mariamma Hyder, Siobhan Gomez, Khadija Khalil, and Maryyam Ashraf are the four others awarded Category A contracts, while Zeefa Jilani is the sole recipient of a Category B contract.
According to Kuwait Cricket, it is hoped that such a move ‘will pave the way for both domestic and international development of Kuwait women’s cricketers as it will give them the much required boost and attract more young girls in the process to semi-professionally / professionally join the game.’ According to the board, the aim is to have as many as 20 contracted women’s players in Kuwait by 2023/2024.
2021 is a big year for associate women’s cricket teams in Asia, with both the Asia Cup Qualifiers and the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifiers (Asia) scheduled to take place in the latter half of the year.
Kuwait is not the only country to seek to professionalise its women’s set up ahead of crucial regional and global competitions. In February, Bhutan announced 14 high performance contracts for its women’s national team.