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Fairbreak Invitational tournament will be available to watch via FreeSport

Top names from the world of women’s cricket will feature in the ICC-sanctioned Fairbreak

Invitational, which will be played in Dubai from May 4 and is available to watch for free on

FreeSports.


England’s cricketing stars Sophie Ecclestone, Sophia Dunkley, Danni Wyatt, and

Heather Knight has already been named and will play alongside cricketers from across the globe including Bhutan, Brazil and Vanuatu in the first-of-its-kind women's T20 event.


Former England stars Lydia Greenway and Charlotte Edwards are also involved in the free-

to-view tournament, taking up coaching roles in the inaugural competition.

This is the first major women’s cricket tournament since Australia lifted the World Cup

trophy in April, and the full tournament will be broadcast on Premier Sports’ sister channel

FreeSports.


FreeSports is a TV channel dedicated to bringing free sport back to every UK home through

the Freeview, Sky, Virgin TV (HD), TalkTalk and BT Platforms, Samsung TV and via the

FreeSports Player.


CEO of FreeSports Richard Sweeney said, “We’re delighted to broadcast this major women’s

cricket competition and make it free to air to all homes in the UK. FreeSports has been

committed to broadcasting the very best cricket tournaments from around the globe in

recent years, and we are incredibly pleased to bring more and more live and free content to

our cricket fans featuring some huge names.”


The privately funded six-team tournament, conceptualised by gender-equality operation

Fairbreak, brings together cricketers from 35 countries for 19 matches over 15 days.

Fairbreak was initially launched as the Women's International Cricket League by former

Australia captain Lisa Sthalekar and inter-personal best-practice expert Shaun Martyn, with

the intention of growing the women's game after the 2013 World Cup.


They have since fielded teams in exhibition matches such as against the Sir Paul Getty

Women's XI at Wormsley and against WBBL franchises, but this is their first venture into a

multi-team tournament.


The tournament is organised by Hong Kong Cricket - the inaugural competition was due to

be held in Hong Kong but had to be moved because of Covid-19 travel restrictions - and has

been sanctioned by the ICC.


Fairbreak founder Shaun Martyn said:

"There’s never been a tournament like it. As far as I know, there's never been 35 countries

involved in any team sporting event outside of an Olympic Games. Over the years, we've

identified and unearthed a lot of talent in Associate nations that you don't get to see

because there's not the opportunity for them to play."


There will be no auction or draft for the tournament, but players have been divided into six

teams by the organisers themselves. All finalised squads are yet to be released. There’s a

total of 90 cricketers involved, 40 of which are from test playing nations, and approximately

50 players from Associate countries are in the mix too.


All the players are contracted for the duration of the tournament and earn the kind of

money that can be "life-changing" Shaun Martyn of Fairbreak said.


Other Associate players to look out for are Maryam Omar, the captain of Kuwait who is a

civil engineer by trade, 17-year-old American cricketer  Geetika Kodali , and Bhutan's Anju

Gurung, a left-arm inswing bowler who only plays against men in her own country. "When

you marry that talent with the better-known international players then it's quite a powerful

mix of talent" Martyn said.


The six teams have all got commercial brand partners, including the Barmy Army, who are

coached by England's Lydia Greenway. Other coaching staff include former internationals Charlotte Edwards, Anju Jain, Julia Price, Joanne Broadbent and  Mohtashim Rasheed , a former head coach of the Pakistan women's team. Among the assistant coaches are former Ireland captain and current Hong Kong coach Trent Johnston.


You can watch the Fairbreak Invitational live and exclusive on FreeSports, available on Sky

422, Freeview 65, Virgin TV 553, BT/TalkTalk 64, Samsung TV Plus and online through the

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