A teenage in Israel has been banned from joining the U-19 cricket team and the reason is bizarre – she is a girl! Fourteen-year-old Naomi Eytan is now campaigning against the authorities to give her a place in the team.
Eytan has played with Israel’s U-19 team all season but has been refused a place in the squad at a major international sporting event in the country – the Maccabiah Games – scheduled to take place next month.
The tennager was told by the organisers of the tournament that she can’t participate in the tournament because of her gender.
In an interview to the Times of Israel, Eytan said that she was angry as well as disappointed with the decision. “I am very angry and disappointed that they won’t let me play,” she said.
She has received widespread support from colleagues as well as the national cricket board. “There has been so much support it is very moving,” she said. “If there was a girls’ team I wouldn’t have a problem, but there are no girls in Israel who play cricket and I was chosen to represent Israel as one of the 15 best.”
Angry that the men with authority should be proud of her instead of banishing her, “What kind of message is the Maccabiah sending to girls and to the world? Instead of being proud of me, they are sending me home because of rules and regulations that it is unclear who made up.”