The third intake of the ICC 100% Cricket Future Leaders Programme is excited for their future prospects following their conclusion of the programme.
The record-breaking intake of 25 future female leaders in cricket were paired with senior leaders from across global cricket over a six-month period and received training and support in their areas of expertise in dealing with real-time and real-world issues and projects.
The Future Leaders Programme is a mentorship programme for all future female leaders in the sport and forms part of the ICC’s long-term commitment to accelerate the growth of women’s cricket and women in the game. It forms part of the 100% Cricket campaign, whose objective is to promote gender equality and equity, as well as to empower women and young girls through cricket.
The Programme’s aim is to address the low percentage of women in leadership positions in global cricket and to promote and support emerging female talent in the cricket landscape from coaching, officiating, administration, and broadcast, to marketing, digital and technology, journalism, and events.
Programme Guide, Belinda Clark AO said: “It has been a privilege to work with all the mentees over the six-month period we had with them. Every time we embark on a new season of this programme, I feel like I learn so much, not just from the mentors, but the mentees as well. Having everyone come together in this forum, allowing people to share their knowledge and expertise from across the globe is quite phenomenal.
“My objective when we started this was to stimulate some thinking and to encourage everyone to share their perspectives.
“There is a big difference between acquiring knowledge and acquiring skill. There’s been a lot of knowledge sharing, but skill comes from doing and I encourage every mentee to apply as much of their acquired knowledge practically, therefore putting their skills to action.”
Amna Tariq, mentee and captain of the Kuwait women’s team said: “There’s been so much that we’ve picked up from this programme. Personally, for me, leading the women’s team here at home, Belinda’s (Clark) guidance and the entire effort that the ICC has put into this has really helped me out.
“There are many points that I’m working on and that have helped me out in my space. I want to thank everyone for putting this programme together and for having us for the course. It’s been a really nice journey.”
Anneesha Ghosh, a freelance sports journalist and mentee said: “What I have come away with from this programme is that there is enough space within this (cricket) ecosystem for one woman to support another and for all of them to thrive.
“It’s one thing for a mentor to say something to a mentee, but it’s quite another to actually see her walk the talk and implementing what she has been teaching.
“There is a perception in pop culture that women try to pull down other women and that’s definitely not the case and that’s one of the foremost things that I’m walking away with from this programme, that there’s enough room for us to back each other.
“Watching Natalie (Germanos) go about her work made me realize that it’s OK to have multiple dreams. She made me accept that and she made me realize that I can shine in all of the places I want to shine in, no one is stopping me.
“She has opened my world view and broadened my horizons and advised me to take as practical an approach as possible and not to eliminate myself in my own head before I even try doing something new.”
Natalie Germanos, a sports broadcaster and cricket commentator and programme mentor said; “I’ve always enjoyed coaching. It’s been a big part of my journey through sport. I have always found coaching very enriching, especially when you see the excitement in the people that you’re coaching and when you see the little bit of improvement from those you’re coaching and the satisfaction that they get from that improvement.
“That’s similar to what I got out of this programme. It was really special to see my mentee express her goals and what she wants to achieve and in some ways realizing how important they are to her and then beginning to take the steps towards making those goals come to fruition.
“I believe that as women within the (cricket) industry, we don’t talk to each other enough about our experiences, about our concerns, about when we’ve done well, I don’t think that we do that enough and this programme allows for that and that’s a big part of its success.
Richa Sharma, mentee from Oman Cricket said: “Thank you to the ICC and everyone involved for this incredible opportunity and experience. Recently I had the privilege to work in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup as part of the sponsorship and licensing team. The World Cup provided me the opportunity to meet and engage with experienced individuals, which helped me with broadening my perspective on various cricket opportunities and learn from the industry’s finest.
“It was really special to meet Kass (Naidoo, mentor) during the world cup, hearing about her experiences and learning how she overcame all her own challenges was inspiring. I’m grateful to her for helping me with my “things to accomplish list,” I’m so thankful for her guidance and for giving me the confidence that it’s OK to have multiple purposes, you just need to have a plan in place and a timeline for how and when you’re going to achieve this.
“This programme and its community have motivated me to devote my time to women’s cricket in Oman. I’m happy to share that Oman Cricket, in its vision to promote women’s cricket at all levels has introduced a women’s cricket development programme, Cricket for Her. The primary purpose for this is to engage more women and girls to play cricket and in our recently conducted indoor championships, we have achieved the highest number of team registrations.”