A week in the life of a 18-year-old cricket player from England
Last week, Jasmin competed for Team England at the Street Child Cricket World Cup in Cambridge, U.K. The tournament uses the power of cricket to tackle the stigma faced by street-connected children and to encourage countries, governments and communities to better support them. For her edition of Roll Call, Jasmin describes what it was like to compete in the tournament.
I woke up at 5 a.m. today, someone came knocking on my door saying, “Wake up!” We went to London. I gave a speech at the Houses of Parliament [Street Child United players spoke at the U.K. parliament to discuss the issues street-connected young people face] and we watched a game at The Oval [an international cricket stadium in London]. It was a privilege to meet former British Prime Minister Sir John Major at The Oval. You don’t get to do that on a daily basis — it was a nice moment. It was nerve-wracking speaking in the Houses of Parliament, but we got there and it was a good feeling for us.
Today, we had the congress since the morning. In congress, we were talking about the experiences of our culture that we are facing on a daily basis. Later on at congress, we created a flag which represented us. In Team England’s flag, we included the St George’s cross. We also included democracy and to represent democracy, we drew the Houses of Parliament. We did education to show how important it is. We also did something to represent equality for all.
We played the group stages of our matches today. Team England won two matches and lost one. The first game we played, we scored 48 and the opposition, Team Nepal, scored 15. The differences in the score made the games special and I felt really proud because it was such a big score to start the game.
It was a good experience captaining Team England because you have to manage everything on the pitch, like fix the position you’re going to bat, do the balling order and you’ve got the responsibility to make your team win overall because that’s the aim of playing the game.
When I heard Dan Norcross [cricket broadcaster] compliment my batting during the commentary, it felt good because it shows that people are loving how I’m playing. That is something we want to show, that people from England can play even though they haven’t got the platform to play professionally, we can play in these games. I also did a reverse shot today which is something the crowd haven’t seen on this level, so I was the first one to do a reverse shot that went out of boundary at the Street Child Cricket
It was the final day of the group stages today. We had matches against Team Tanzania, Team India South, Team Mauritius and Team Bangladesh where we won all four matches. The matches against Team Tanzania and Team India South were really close because we just won by one run for both of the games.
It was a tough game to play because we lost one game yesterday and we were under pressure. Despite that, we had to keep the spirit up and encourage one another. The games were pretty hard because everyone was in the race to be in the top four to play in the semifinals.
To make it to the semifinals is a moment that is hard to believe because we lost a game yesterday and from that hope had gone down slightly, but after our wins today we have a clear goal to win the Street Child Cricket World Cup trophy. We also had the highest runs in the tournament, which felt good because the Street Child Cricket World Cup is hosted in England and it shows that a team from England is doing well and we can play some good shots. I am actually proud of that.
We had congress for most of the day today. In congress we talked about issues we face on a daily basis, like discrimination. We also talked about cultural barriers and solutions to them. Our main aim was to create awareness so that we could come to a point where everyone is treated equally.
Today we played in the semifinals of the Street Child Cricket World Cup at Lord’s Cricket Ground [a prestigious cricket stadium in London]. Our first match was against Team Tanzania and I felt we did really well as a team which helped us secure a win. We then qualified for the finals against Team India South, but unfortunately we lost the match.
Overall, it was a really good day, except when I injured my knee. It was a proud moment to play at Lord’s. It’s a moment I’m going to capture for the rest of my life because it’s not something you get to do every day. I was given the opportunity to showcase my talent on a platform where my idols have played. Cricket is something I love to watch and play — playing at Lord’s is a dream come true.
The General Assembly was good too, especially the way the teams portrayed the issues they were going through. I found it really interesting because it’s something most people are trying to ignore. My most memorable moment of my time at the Street Child Cricket World Cup is playing at Lord’s!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jasmin is an 18-year old student and cricket player from England. She loves pizza, sports and social media.