Aussie and Bangladeshi women connect through cricket

When the Australian Army women’s cricket team landed in Dhaka, Bangladesh, as part of Indo-Pacific Endeavour (IPE) 2022, they were treated to a training session with the Bangladesh women’s national cricket team.

CAPTION: Sergeant Melissa Campbell warms up for a match against the Bangladesh Institute of Sport’s Women’s Under 19’s Cricket Team, during Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2022 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Story by Flying Officer Lily Lancaster. Photo by Sergeant David Said.

After their session with the professionals, the Army team took on the Bangladesh Institute of Sport’s (BKSP) Under 18’s in a T20 match on October 19.

Captain of the team, Sergeant Melissa Campbell, said it was an amazing opportunity.

“Never again will we play against such skilled cricketers,” Sergeant Campbell said.

   

“What better way to build partnerships with our region than doing it through sport, and of course women’s cricket is a fantastic game to play in the sub-continent.”

Despite being defeated by the young but accomplished BKSP team, the Army women were excited to learn some skills from the players, many of whom will soon join the Bangladesh national team for the upcoming cricket world cup.

The BKSP team’s captain, Disha Biswas, said it was an amazing opportunity to play the Australian Army team, which her players thoroughly enjoyed.

Joining together for a Bangladeshi meal after the game, the players enjoyed getting to know each other and connect over their love of sport.

Tim Tams were shared with new Bangladeshi friends, who enjoyed them, joking that they were glad the team nutritionist wasn’t watching.

Sergeant Campbell said the experience was better than she could have imagined.

“We admire them and they have admired us. It has been really cool,” she said.

Private Kayla Stuchbree even found herself the subject of some local fame when Bangladeshi cricket star Jahanara Alam shared an image of their exchange of hats online. Between cricket games, Bangladesh Armed Forces members hosted the team for cultural activities, at which women from both nations connected over their shared experiences in uniform.

Major General David Thomae said he was proud to be leading the IPE contingent in Dhaka and engaging with Bangladeshi military leaders.

“Indo-Pacific Endeavour is the ADF’s premier regional engagement. As part of that we see the Australian Army women’s cricket team doing great things with the Bangladeshis in sport,” Major General Thomae said.

“It has been a very successful visit and we have been very grateful for the hospitality of the Bangladeshi people.”

CAPTION: The Australian Army women’s cricket team is joined by the BKSP Women’s Under 19’s cricket team and staff after playing a match during IPE 2022. Photo by Sergeant David Said.


 
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