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SCC Divas: The Filipino women who found a love of cricket in Hong Kong

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SCC Divas squad
SCC Divas won the Hong Kong league twice in their first two seasons

Imagine working 17 hours a day, six days a week.

How would you spend your day off?

Perhaps in your chill clothes, with a takeaway and Netflix or the match on in the background?

Not the SCC Divas – a group of Filipino domestic workers who work in Hong Kong. They play cricket.

“Cricket is a motivation. It’s something that we always look forward to and it keeps pushing my limits and strengths,” all-rounder Cris Hindoy tells the BBC’s World Service Stumped podcast.

“While playing and in the field, I can be more of my real self. I can show myself while playing cricket, or just cheering my team-mates.

“Every time I play on a Sunday, I want to go home and I say to myself that I did great today. That’s why I love to join in.”

Hindoy, alongside captain Josie Treyes, is one of 130,000 women from the Philippines who earn a living cooking, cleaning and looking after the children of mostly British expat families in Hong Kong.

But how did they get into cricket?

“In 2015, I met some British friends here in Hong Kong. They showed me cricket on the TV and I was amazed,” explains Treyes.

“I hadn’t seen it before and I didn’t know how to play it.”

Treyes started to train and play at Hong Kong Cricket Club, before forming an all-Filipino side in 2017.

They started with a 30-strong squad consisting of players who had grown up playing baseball and softball.

The Divas won Hong Kong’s development league twice in their first two seasons and are unbeaten after five games since stepping up to the top division this year.

“Our players are improving. We are disciplined and we focus on training – but I think we are very lucky,” says Treyes.

“We have found that cricket is very difficult. It is a unique game.”

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Treyes has already formed a Philippines national women’s team, with the aim of playing in the 2022 Asia Cup in China.

They played their first international Twenty20s against Indonesia in December 2019 – Treyes and eight other Divas players took part – but lost all four gamesexternal-link by emphatic margins.

“My family are amazed and very proud,” explains Treyes.

Hindoy adds: “Mine are so full of joy. My friends keep congratulating me and I’m so overwhelmed.”

So what does the future hold for Treyes and Hindoy?

“I’m old but I’m still playing, as slow as you can play,” says 52-year-old Treyes.

“Maybe soon I will retire. There are so many young Filipino cricketers who can play and maybe I can support them.”

Hindoy, however, has big ambitions – for herself and the team.

“Honestly, before I played cricket just to have fun. But now I have a bigger goal for myself and the team,” she explains.

“I want to see my name after the game as the MVP (most valuable player). That’s the big dream, even just for one game.

“As for the team, I want to see us in a higher league and in the Asia Cup.

“If you aim for it, and work for it, it is not impossible.”

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