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Cricket, in Pakistan, is one of the most liked affairs to be talked about either it is on social media, newspapers, media channels or even to catch up at gatherings, with family and friends. There are fans from every corner of the country, that support and appreciate cricket happenings in Pakistan. This helps in inclining the progress of the sport both as in domestic and at international level.
In the past few years, there hasn’t been any international match played in my country due to the attack on Sri Lankan cricket team that took place in 2009. The incident wiped out the path of international cricket teams towards Pakistan. However, this badly affected the status of cricket for our country. Since the incident happened and international cricket teams weren’t allowed to warm up the grounds and pitches of different cities of Pakistan, that already had served as the origin of many records in the sport, Pakistani cricket regressed and decelerated with a negative slope on the graph.
As international cricket was demolished in Pakistan, many cricket fans were losing their interest in cricket as the grounds of big cities like Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi was turning useless and inferior. The Pakistan cricket board then decided to organize domestic tournaments regularly to keep the flow of cricket going on in the country.
These domestic tournaments provided a platform to many young and multitalented players as they started getting a chance to show their skills and abilities. The domestic cricket of Pakistan, therefore, was now getting the pace of regaining the interest of Pakistani cricket fans within the country. The main domestic tournaments that were made part of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) included:
Ø Pakistan Super League
Ø Quaid-e-Azam Trophy
Ø Pentangular Trophy
Ø National One-day Championship
Ø Faysal Bank T20 Cup
Ø Patron’s Trophy
Ø Pakistan Cup
I, as a “girl” cricket fan, have been following cricket since last six years. Being a Pakistani patriot, I have always served as a deep heart lover of Pakistan cricket team. I try to keep myself indulged with the happenings of cricket, especially within Pakistan.
As international cricket isn’t in full swing within our country, I have always wondered to witness domestic matches live on the ground. But, there are many reasons that hinder me to step towards cricket grounds. The reasons may seem to be not so different as several others in our society but, they should be given an immediate lookover to be treated.
NO PROPER ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS
There are no proper awareness programs that grasp the interests of the audience and Pakistani cricket fans towards domestic matches. There are several tournaments that come and go without fans knowing about them unless they read local newspapers. This happens due to lack of marketing and interaction between the management and audience. There is no adequate infrastructure built to promote domestic cricket seasons among the public.
Recently, Ramadan cricket tournament was arranged in June 2017 in Karachi. I saw a few trailers on television about it. Jazz T20 6thcorporate cup was held at Moin Khan Cricket Academy whereas, Naya Nazimabad cup was held at Lawai Stadium, Naya Nazimabad. I asked my mother if I could go and watch all the matches on the ground with my university friends since it has been on top of my wish-to-do list. The first thing that she said to me was,
“Arijah! Larkian nahi jatin, koi bhi larki nahi jaegi, aur Naya Nazimabad kitna khatarnak ilaqa hai. Me kabhi nahi jane dungi tumhein. Jo dekhna he tv pr dekhlo”
(Arijah! Girls do not go in the grounds, I have never seen any girl visiting ground to witness domestic matches and don’t you know how dangerous is the area of Naya Nazimabad. I would never allow you to go. If you want to watch, you can watch it on television.)
My mother’s statement disheartened me very deeply and made me realize that how these negative factors are contributing to declining of sports for young girls and women, especially in our country.
We live in an orthodox society where it is very rare for a female to step out of her home for any of the reason. So how is it possible for a female to step on the ground to enjoy her favorite sport. This act is considered as a taboo in our society. I, as a female cricket fan, can never go to stadiums and grounds, alone or even with my female friends because of its taboo nature. If I do so, there will be an audience that will start gazing at me and my female friends.
They will start commenting and discussing us. However, this will literally force me not to visit any ground anymore. There are no separate enclosures for females where they should feel secure. There are no proper arrangements made to serve the female viewers of cricket.
More precisely, in today’s time period, I have seen many girls willing to serve their country in cricket. Moreover, they need proper arrangements of security measures, opportunity platforms, to move forward and play their role. Due to being a girl, I have cut-off many wishes from my wish-to-do list because of the reasons specified above.
However, the reasons should be taken into consideration and should be abolished in order to provide a safe and secure platform for the females of our country.