A GIRLS cricket team based at a Bradford school has been nominated for a prestigious national award.

The Carlton Bolling girls team has already tasted success this year – winning an Inspirational Award for Women last month.

And now the team are chasing the public vote after making the shortlist in the Community Award in the Sportswomen of the Year Award.

The team has made the news in recent years for their successes. Most of the girls are Muslim, and had to overcome barriers from within their own communities, as well as building themselves up from a team of inexperienced players to one of the best teams in the country.

The team have been nominated in the awards, run by the Sunday Times in association with Vitality, in recognition of their “exceptional achievements in the local community”.

Having formed just a few years ago, they were crowned North of England champions earlier this summer, leading to the national finals. They eventually lost by just two runs. Many of the girls are from communities where girls are not encouraged to take part in sports, and PE teacher Zaheer Jaffary had to convince the girls’ families to let them play. He recently told the Telegraph & Argus that there was still regular opposition from some.

The Community Award honours individuals who have actively engaged different groups of people within their community through sport, and the winner will be announced on the evening of Thursday, October 26, with the awards taking place at the Hilton London Bankside hotel. The ceremony will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Action and Sky Sports Mix.


Mr Jaffary said: “A lot of people want to make life difficult for these girls, but all they want to do is play cricket. They deserve all the recognition they get. Everything they’ve achieved has been amazing.”

The team have inspired more girls at the school to take up the sport, recently setting up their own pupil-run academy.

School head Adrian Kneeshaw said: “All at Carlton Bolling are extremely proud of our girls’ cricket team. They consistently exhibit a tenacity way beyond their years and always give their very best when faced with tough competition. We feel they are more than deserving of this award.”

To vote, visit sportswomenoftheyear.co.uk/awards before Monday, October 16.