Cricket Wales Director, Dr Samara Afzal, Carries CG Baton
Cricket Wales would like to congratulate Independent Director, Dr Samara Afzal on her being chosen as a Commonwealth Games baton-bearer and being given the honour of carrying it in her community in the Midlands today.
Samara was born in Wordsley and is employed as a GP in the West Midlands. She grew up with a love of all things cricket and was one of the first Asian females to play county cricket, representing Warwickshire in 2003/04. She is also a level 1 ECB coach and helps coach girls at her local club when work permits.
She has worked voluntarily with the NACC (National Asian Cricket Council), setting up the first pilot project which involved getting female patients from a South Asian Background to play cricket, aimed to help their physical and mental well-being. She also works voluntarily with the Shahid Afridi foundation, helping raise money for the poor through events such as charity cricket matches.
Samara has done a lot of work addressing health inequalities particularly during the Covid Pandemic. She was recognised on International Women’s Day by ITV central as one of the 6 females leading the fight against Covid. She was also given the ‘raise the bat award’ from the ECB for her work during the pandemic.
Commenting on the honour, Dr Afzal said,
"I am very excited about being chosen as a batonbearer for the Commonwealth games. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It is extra special as it’s in my hometown Birmingham. I have been chosen for the work I did as a GP during the pandemic; educating people from the BAME community about Covid 19 and being a big part of the local vaccination programme. The nomination was also for being a role model for girls as a cricketer and cricket coach from a South Asian background.
"I’m particularly excited about women's cricket being featured at the Commonwealth Games, especially in a home Games for me; I am hoping these Games will encourage lots of youngsters to take up sports and games, especially cricket, as it’s so important for a healthy lifestyle as well as providing essential life skills and helping achieve good mental health."
The Commonwealth Games Women's Cricket T20 competition starts on Friday 29th July.