In the Tata Indian Premier League (IPL) match between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday, nearly 19,000 girls from all over the Maharashtra’s capital city cheered on the players throughout the entire match.
Nita Ambani, the Chairperson of the Reliance Foundation and Owner of the Mumbai Indians, noted during the game that many of the 19,000 girls who attended the match, did so for the first time live in the stadium on a special ESA Day devoted to the girl child.
“I am quite overwhelmed. Look at the energy, the excitement and the enthusiasm in the stadium. ESA matches are always special. This year, we have 19,000 girls in the stadium from different NGOs. Many of them are seeing a live cricket match for the first time. It’s a very emotional day for all of us,” she said.
“Today’s match is about celebration of women in sports. I wanted to highlight that girls have a right to education and sports. I hope all these girls and those watching on TV have the courage to follow their dreams and achieve whatever they want. That’s the reason why we have called all of them today to just feel inspired and take a lot of courage back home,” she added.
Some of the girls in the crowd on Sunday may grow up to be future stars, the chairperson continued.
“There might be a Jhulan here or a Harmanpreet here, not just cricket but a superstar in the future from any sport. They can be achievers on the global stage and win accolades for India,” she said.
Harmanpreet Kaur, the captain of the Indian women’s team and Mumbai Indians in the WPL, was there at the toss at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium with Suryakumar Yadav to support the particular occasion, which was a celebration of women in sports.
In order to demonstrate their support, make a strong statement, and draw attention to the right of girls to education and sports, the Mumbai Indians wore a special jersey for the game—the Mumbai Indians WPL jersey.
Nita Ambani joined the girls in the stands and watched the game with them. Nita Ambani has been a strong supporter at the boundary line for MI games. The young girls could be seen conversing with her.
Speaking about her interactions, Ambani said: “It was really special. The girls were so excited and thankful. I just wish them well and may god bless all of them. More power to the girls.”
Along with Harman, other members of the Mumbai Indians women’s team, champions of the first season of the Women’s Premier League, were present. They cheered and celebrated their love of cricket as well as the encouragement of the women fans around the stadium.
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