Afia Humaira Anam Prottasha may not have heard about Vladimir Lenin or CLR James but despite being only an 18-year-old she must have heard about Begum Rokeya. And when the teenage cricketer of Bangladesh was showcasing ‘girl-power’ a curious mind may somehow connect with the words and works of three aforementioned legends.

Lenin, the revolutionary once said that history may remain static for decades but can become dynamic even in a moment. James, one of the most eminent philosophers of the last century mentioned myriad of times that cricket is not a mere game, it can become the mean of answering all the historic oppressions and making statements for future and egalite.

Those two gentlemen, despite being most progressive, however, might not even envisage how the girls will one day take cricket bat and bowl to prove their sages. Begum Rokeya indeed dreamed that through her eloquently written Sultana’s Dream.

All these thoughts were invoked when Prottasha struck a big six chasing a stiff total against Australia, the powerhouse of cricket, during their first match of the ICC Women’s Under-19 World Cup 2023. Hitting a straight six is a splendidly difficult task and perhaps the most spectacular shot but that very hit had a lot more profound and widespread impacts.

The first thing was the intent of showing power. Even many feminists believe the women of Bangladesh may thrive in many sectors but when it comes about physical power they are always far behind. The patriarchal society tacitly and boldly teaches that female is tantamount to soft, eloquent, caring and not about being powerful and ruthless.

So, when it comes about sports like cricket it is expected that Bangladesh girls may win a match or two but that will come through their guile and patience. Perhaps they will use the advantage of a spin friendly pitch or overconfident opponents.

Talking about Australia, not even trying to demean the men’s side, one must feel the big wins of Tigers against the Aussies came thanks mainly to the aforementioned factors. An overconfident looking Australia side lost to a Bangladesh side, which sparked sensationally on the given day, in Cardiff while their losses at Mirpur saw the pitch playing a big part.

That is where the win against Australia for the Young Tigress looked different. They tried to outmuscle the mighty Aussie girls. They set the tone with hitting sixes and wanted to gain the maximum whenever opportunity arrives.

This very fact actually challenges the stereotype that Bangladeshi girls ever dare taking the challenge in steeper way. Even the Bangladeshi men hardly won matches against the big teams overpowering them.

And now, if one feels it was a fluke, the girls proved it in the second match. Against Sri Lanka they showcased even more powerful performances. They scored over 160 scoring eight sixes. Indeed, it is wrong to name only Prottasha, the performance of Dalia Akter and Soma Akter was even greater.

Dalia, the player of the match against Australia struck a big six when the chase was looking a bit stiffer, proving they do not fear to handle the pressure. Soma, the 16-year kid, one must say, epitomized everything about girl power hitting a 50 from just 28 balls with the aid of three sixes. Her mentality was absolutely a killing one. Unlike many of her men compatriots she did not settle in for a lower total through a safer approach but showed the extreme positive intensity.

All the aforementioned girls actually showed how to bat in T20. The coaches say the intent of a batter in the shortest format should be 6-4-2-1. That is, your first intention is to hit the six, if somehow feel that is not possible than go for four and only being unable to do that look for a single. That mindset is complete contrast to Tests or even ODI where safeguarding one’s wicket is paramount. One must say, most of the Bangladeshi male players failed to adapt that in international level. The young generations of Prottasha, Dilara and Shoma in a sense creating revolution.

And when their backs were in the wall against power hitting of Sri Lanka, they showed mental toughness which often goes missing for Bangladeshis. Many in the social media commented that the men’s team would throw the towel at that situation and there are very little points to argue against that. So, these girls also showcased they do have the mental strength to fight against the odds.

We have seen the busy Dhaka city welcomed the golden girls, our SAFF winning footballers, gleefully through an open bus parade and the brave shows of the cricket girls made us forget about the parochial views of being objectified

That is not surprising. Being a girl is tough in our society and a girl being a cricket player must be absolutely daunting as far as social obstacles are concerned. However, in that sense these girls perhaps are blessed in disguise as they have learnt how to win even stiffer challenges beyond the boundary.

And beyond all the so-called development data, social indexes, this courage, this audacity from the section of the society which are less privileged and faces a lot more challenge is the most Important point of moving the society forward. The almost cliché word ‘girl-power’ is not a verbose one, the hitting of our little girls proved them real just like the Black people of Caribbeans used to prove.

And another vital thing is the lack of objectification. Many groups claim when women are exposed to real life they are bound to be objectified. However, it is seen time and again, the more they get the opportunity they actually wipe out such mentality. We have seen the busy Dhaka city welcomed the golden girls, our SAFF winning footballers, gleefully through an open bus parade and the brave shows of the cricket girls made us forget about the parochial views of being objectified. The more these girls will win, the more taboos shall be shattered to be thrown into the bin.

These power girls may not win the World Cup like the boys did in the same country, South Africa, three years ago as with the latter it is seen we are poor nurturing our talents and help them bloom. But the intent of their cricket may be an inspiration of a fearless new generation, who, unlike their predecessors, have the dream to become best in the world.