ISLAMABAD     -    Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan Dr Geoffrey Shaw presented awards to the participating teams of the inaugural Girls Cricket Cup in Karachi on Wednesday. “The Australian High Commission has been sponsoring women cricket in Pakistan since 2016,” Shaw said. “We began with a single annual tournament in Islamabad before deciding last year to expand it to other major cities. Then we started with Lahore, and now we are in Karachi.” Australia joined with the Jalaluddin Cricket Academy (JCA), Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA) to bring the event in Karachi. “Our countries share a passion for cricket, so we are very pleased to support this event. Cricket and other sports can help in tearing down barriers and stereotypes. Every time these girls hit a boundary or make a catch, they are taking a step towards greater equality,” Shaw added. He appreciated Nasra Public School, Civil Aviation Authority Model School, Happy Home School and Aga Khan Higher Secondary School for joining the event. He also paid tribute to the JCA, PCB and KCCA. “We are pleased to have the participation of first class cricket coaches, who helped in building confidence, fostering team spirit and encouraging the girls,” Shaw said. The girls attended a six-day coaching clinic in the lead-up to the competition. JCA Chairman and former Pakistan cricketer Jalaluddin congratulated the Australian High Commission on the initiative. “We always support grassroots cricket development. We hope this initiative for the Girls Cricket Cup will go a long way in developing women cricket in Pakistan,” Jalaluddin concluded.