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Unbeaten Divas cites team spirit and luck in HK cricket campaign

26 November 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao

 

Divas players after their triumph on Nov 22

All-Filipina team SCC Divas scored 75 runs and lost 1 wicket as they beat India Club Women in just 6.5 overs in their first encounter this season in the Main League of Hong Kong Cricket Women’s T20 League tournament last Sunday.

The latest triumph at the Po Kong Village Road pitch was Divas’ fourth straight victory in the league’s 2020-2021 season that began on Oct 4 as the first Filipina cricket team world-wide attracted global publicity glare this past week.

“Bale every game feeling positive lang talaga kami at na-feel talaga namin na mananalo kami. Hindi naman kami magagaling pero lucky lang talaga. (We’re just feeling positive that we’ll win each time we have a match. We’re not good, but just lucky),” said Josie Arimas, the 52-year-old co-founder and captain of the team of domestic helpers.

In December last year, Arimas and seven of her Divas stalwarts helped form the Philippine National Team that played but lost to Indonesia in their first international tournament in Dasmariñas City. She is also the captain of that team. 

Divas team manager Kulkarni and captain Arimas 

Last Sunday, their opponents India Club Women scored 74 runs and lost 9 wickets in 15.1 overs in the first innings of their 16-over match. At the Divas’ turn to bowl in the second innings, the Divas overtook ICW’s score in just 6.5 overs.

Divas player Jona Eguid led the team’s scoring with 32 runs, Romela Osabel added 9 runs and D. Lovino 3 runs, while the team earned 31 extras when they batted in their abbreviated second innings.

In their three previous matches this season, the Divas scrubbed the Lantau Ladies on Oct 11, defeated USRC on Oct 25 and overran the HKCC Cavaliers on Nov 8. In addition, Divas won back to back matches along with its newly formed team SCC Pinay on Nov 15 in the Women’s Development League.

The Divas’ winning streak did not escape international media attention with French wire service Agence France-Presse covering its match against the veteran Cavaliers and dispersing its print and television report globally.

Until today, various print, TV and online news organizations are publishing the AFP report with the headline “Cleaning up: domestic workers taking Hong Kong cricket by storm.”

In its feature story on Divas, AFP said team manager Aminesh Kulkarni, formed the team with Arimas to provide a positive pastime for domestic workers on their day off.

“The Filipinos have that gathering culture. So if one comes, a few come. One player started spending time here, and now we have 32,” Kulkarni told AFP.

He said “my aim is finally about 200. It is going to happen in the next couple of years.”

Filipino broadcasters ABS-CBN and its rival GMA 7 also interviewed Arimas, with the latter shooting footages of the team’s latest match on Nov 22 for airing on their channels. 

Arimas attributes Divas’ success that is attracting the publicity glare to its players’ team spirit, their keenness to train and to support fellow players, especially the new ones.

Lahat naman kami naglalaro, nagtutulungan kami sa loob, lalo na sa game (We all play, we all help each other, especially in the game),” she said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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