A cricket team made up of hijras — the common term for South Asia’s “third sex” population, most of whom identify as female — played its first official match in Pakistan, scoring 65 runs to beat a local men’s team, reports the BBC.
Sanam XI (“sanam” means “beloved” in Urdu) beat the Olympians men’s cricket club in an exhibition game in Sukkur, in southern Pakistan.
“I want to dedicate our victory to Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry,” Sanam Khan, captain of Sanam XI, told the BBC. “It is only due to him that things are changing for eunuchs in Pakistan.”
Last month Chaudhry ordered the government to stop discriminating against hijras and paved the way for medical and public facilities to help them.
Hijras are largely shunned by society and many earn a living through sex work, performing at ceremonies, or begging — though they are also considered sacred, as it is believed that they have the power to bring fertility and good luck to a birth or a marriage.