Scotland’s cricketer Abtaha Maqsood, the first woman to don a hijab while participating in The Hundred, is set to return to CBeebies this February. Known for co-designing custom hijabs for Birmingham Phoenix, the team she proudly represents, Abtaha’s appearance marks a significant step towards diversity and inclusion in sports.
From the iconic Trent Bridge Cricket Ground, Abtaha will read ‘Under My Hijab’ by Hena Khan, beautifully illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel. The heartwarming story is told from the perspective of a young girl observing the various ways the women in her life choose to cover their hair. Timed to coincide with World Hijab Day on Thursday, February 1, the reading is scheduled to air at 6.50 pm on CBeebies and BBC iPlayer.
Expressing her enthusiasm, Abtaha shared, “I really loved reading ‘Under My Hijab’ on CBeebies Bedtime Stories. I hope it helps open up conversations and gives families a better understanding and appreciation of the hijab. Wearing a hijab while playing cricket is not just about expressing my religious identity but it’s also a symbol of inclusion and empowerment for girls in sports.”
The cricketer emphasized that sports should be a space where every woman and girl feels accepted and celebrated for who she is. Abtaha sees her hijab as a powerful symbol of authenticity on the cricket pitch, sending a resounding message that cricket is a sport for everyone.
This marks Abtaha’s second appearance on CBeebies Bedtime Story, following her well-received debut on the beloved show last July. Her return is anticipated to continue inspiring young minds and fostering a sense of inclusivity in the world of sports.