Cricket: Pinay domestic helpers’ team finds success in Hong Kong’s Division 2 league

Nazvi Careem, South China Morning Post

Posted at Apr 05 2021 09:14 AM | Updated as of Apr 05 2021 11:11 AM

Cricket: Pinay domestic helpers’ team finds success in Hong Kong’s Division 2 league 1
Courtesy of SCC Divas HK’s FB account

Hong Kong's all-domestic helper team, the SCC Divas, continued their remarkable rise by winning two titles while knocking on the door of Division One cricket for women.

The Divas have won the 2020 Women's Development League - delayed from last season because of the Covid-19 pandemic - for their third title in a row and are the unbeaten leaders in the latest campaign. More significantly, the Divas finished top of their T20 Women's Division Two league and are a play-off victory from playing in Division One.

"These Divas continue to amaze me," said Divas skipper Josie Arimas. "They train hard, and fight just as hard on the field of play. I have been very proud to be their captain for the past four years, and I am delighted with their success.

"The girls love the game, and look forward to playing every Sunday. Those who aren't selected for that week's matches are very effective cheerleaders on the boundary. Divas seems to keep growing."

The Divas play Craigengower Cricket Club in their play-off on April 25, with the winners going on to play Division One cricket next season. Since they were formed four years ago, more players have joined and SCC can now field two teams in the development league - the Divas and Pinay. They hope to include a third team, SCC Rosy, next season.

They are coached by Sher Lama and managed by Animesh Kulkarne while also supported by Chandrasekhar Parameswaran. Cricket Hong Kong general manager for participation, Ravi Nagdev, was full of praise for the way the Divas - who are only able to train and play on Sundays because of the nature of their work - have risen through the ranks.

"The story of the SCC Divas is nothing short of incredible," said Nagdev. "It truly shows how far passion can take you. They are a great advertisement for how cricket can be a fantastic sport and how it brings them together."

Arimas, who plans to retire as captain next season and hand over the reins to her deputy Jennifer Alumbro, said they want to continue collecting trophies.

"We have been very fortunate to have a generous sponsor and an enthusiastic and hard-working manager," added Arimas, who said the sponsor wishes to remain anonymous. " Winning three in a row is marvellous, but four would be even better. Let's see what next season brings.

"I never dreamed when I established Divas that it would turn out as well as this; domestic helpers with only one day off throwing themselves into this unknown game, and managing to win, extraordinary, I am proud of them all for their effort and commitment and, on many occasions, sheer guts and the will to win.

"We have new players getting in touch all the time. Divas has its own internal messaging. We never advertise for new players. You know that baseball film 'Field of Dreams'? Well, like the lead character said, 'if we build it, they will come', and they did.

"Our next challenge is to win this month's play-off match so we can play in Division One and try to make it into the Premier League. That would be something, but we will have to work hard to do it."

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