A TEAM of young female cricketers from a Bradford school are to feature in a touching new BBC Three documentary ‘Bats, Balls and Bradford Girls’.

The film follows the first British all-Asian girls’ cricket team, which was formed at Carlton Bolling College, over the 2018 summer holidays after they've left school, as they train for their last ever tournament together.

It began four years ago, when the girls’ only experience of cricket was their dads and brothers watching it on television.

They took to the sport like naturals and began winning most of the tournaments they entered.

They have even been awarded an Inspirational Women award for their work both on the pitch and in breaking down stereotypes.

But it hasn’t been an easy ride for the team and they have had to overcome barriers from within their own community, as well as rivals on the pitch.

At one point, as the girls travel to one of their games, they are told: “You’ve got a lot to prove.

“There’s a lot of people who don’t want you to succeed, who don’t even agree with any of this.”

Zainab, the team’s star bowler, narrates the film and her commentary shines a spotlight on some of the issues the team has faced.

She says: “For us, cricket is more than just a sport. Within our community it is not considered right to let girls go out on their own.

“If I didn’t have cricket, I don’t think I’d have much opportunity to leave the house at all.

“Cricket gives me that independence and it gives me that freedom and it allows me to go out and be myself for a bit.”

And for her teammate Zaira, it’s about showing that girls, as well as boys, can play cricket.

“Girls are not supposed to stay in the kitchen, cook, clean, make sure their husbands are fed, make sure the children are fed,” she says.

“They’ve got lives. They’ve want more to life than that.”

But they’ve also faced discrimination when they’ve ventured away to play in tournaments.

Zainab explains in the film: “Most of the teams we’ve played against are white girls from elite schools. Some of them have laughed at us and refused to shake our hands.”

Hanfia, the rebel of the team, was kicked out of school and fought to get back so she could still play cricket.

She was introduced to the sport by her late grandad.

“Cricket makes me feel closer to my grandad, I feel like I’m doing him proud after all I’ve been through with school and getting kicked out,” she says. “I was not on a good path.

“If it wasn’t for cricket, if it wasn’t for these girls, I don’t think I’d have been here today.”

And Mariyah says: "Cricket just brings out another me.

"When I'm on a cricket pitch I feel like that's when I can actually be my true self."

The film also touches on Jasmin’s story. She was born in a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh just after her father died.

Tragically her mother was in a car accident four years ago, leaving her partially paralysed.

She is now one of her mum’s carers and turned down a scholarship at one of the best universities in America in order to put her family first.

“Everything changed in a moment,” she says. "For me, family is right at the top. No matter what, I can’t leave my family." The film will be available to watch on BBC iPlayer from 10am on Tuesday, January 8.