Birmingham organisers give two alternatives for Bismah’s inclusion

Abdul Mohi Shah
Sunday, May 29, 2022

ISLAMABAD: To enable the women cricket team captain Bismah Maroof to take her baby and support along, Birmingham Commonwealth Games’ organisers have come up with a couple of realistic options to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

The games are due to begin from July 28.

Earlier, the Games organisers had refused to allow a less than ten months old baby, her support to accompany during the Games as all athletes and accompanied officials are to stay at the Village specially meant for the athletes and officials.

Traditionally, no one gets any relaxation in the rules in such circumstances. However, Bismah’s case was pursued vigorously by the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) which is responsible for the accreditation of all athletes for the Birmingham Games.

The organisers particularly took up Bismah’s case and have given two options to the PCB: make all the arrangements for the accompanying support and baby at the nearest hotel or to seek permission from all other countries’ team members staying in that particular block of the Village.

In the former case, the POA staying within the quota given to Pakistan is to issue special-9 am to 9 pm passes to the two on daily bases that will take them to the venues and practice areas.

The latter option seems rather complicated one. If the PCB opts in favour of the second option, chances are that other teams may object to the baby’s presence in the hotel.

“The first option looks more suitable but in that case, the POA will have to make necessary adjustments from the available quota to accommodate Bismah’s accompanied support,” a source confirmed to ‘The News’.

Unlike the ODI World Cup in New Zealand where ICC has made special arrangements at the start of 2022 for Bismah’s four-month baby to accompany her mother, there is no such provision available in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games where a mother can carry her baby along.

Bismah would possibly be not alone to suffer from these blatant rules as there could be a few others from the 72 participating nations facing the same scenario.

Earlier, the organisers had set two strong conditions if Bismah wanted to lead the Green-shirts along with her baby. One option was to leave the baby back home altogether or if at all carrying the baby was unavoidable, the PCB must drop two of the five support staff members to accommodate the baby and her nanny.

But now as things emerged, the POA will have to issue daily passes from the available quota for the baby and nanny to accompany the Pakistan women team’s captain to the venue and other facilities.

It is to be mentioned that the PCB had already rejected the option of dropping two from the support staff.