Passionate female cricket fans seek umpiring roles in Pakistan

Female Umpires in Pakistan - Afia Amin, Humaira Farah, Nazia Nazir, Sabahat Rasheed and Shakila Rafiq
Female Umpires in Pakistan. Pic Source


Women’s cricket in Pakistan has grown a lot in recent years. With Pakistan Cricket Board showing great interest in the sport, females are now confident about making a career in cricket which has also led to several job opportunities around the sport. One such area of interest in getting into the Umpiring role.

In the Pakistan Cricket Board’s umpires’ panels, there are 9 female umpires coming from both urban and rural setup. These 9 female umpires are ensuring that women’s participation in the game goes and grows gradually.

Five of them – Afia Amin, Humaira Farah, Nazia Nazir, Sabahat Rasheed and Shakila Rafiq –were amongst the audiences during a workshop in Lahore, which concluded on Tuesday.

The remaining four umpires namely Nuzhat Sultana, Riffat Mustafa, Samera Aftab and Saleema Imtiaz, will attend workshops in Karachi and Rawalpindi from 29-31 August and 3-5 September, respectively during the ongoing PCB Panel Umpires & Match Referees Annual Workshop.

The objective of these workshops is to educate the umpires regarding the latest laws of cricket, code of conduct, dress-code, domestic playing conditions, etc.

In the Lahore workshop, the umpires were lectured by some of the top umpires, including Aleem Dar from the Elite Panel of ICC Umpires, and Ahsan Raza and Asif Yaqoob, both members of International Panel of ICC Umpires, conducting the workshop.

These 9 female umpires showed their consent and thanked PCB for giving them such an opportunity.

Afia Amin, a Master’s degree holder, said: “I come from a conservative family, but my husband provided me all the support that I needed. My interest in umpiring developed after watching him officiate women’s matches.”

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Humaira Farah, who is director sports at Lahore Garrison University and is pursuing PhD degree, said: “Women are an integral part of any society and the PCB’s step to train the umpires ahead of the season is praiseworthy. I aim to make the most of this workshop so I can have the honor of umpiring in an international women’s game.”

Nazia Nazir, who lectures on physical education at Government Township College in Lahore, said: “I couldn’t pursue my dream of becoming a cricketer due to family restrictions. Being an umpire provided me with an opportunity to return to the cricket field, which I grabbed with both hands. I want to become a regular umpire in ICC matches.”

Sabahat Rasheed, a former Pakistan international player, said: “Umpiring is a totally different profession and requires comprehensive understanding and knowledge of the laws of the game.”

Shakila Rafiq, a Master’s degree holder, said: “I idolize Aleem Dar. He has officiated innumerable matches and I look to make the most from his expansive experience of officiating top-flight international cricket.”

Impressed with the female umpires’ participation in the workshop, Aleem Dar said: “The female umpires are a great asset for Pakistan cricket. They have been working hard to leave a mark and their passion and love for the profession are truly commendable.

To read more on this news, click here: NewsPoint by Umer Jamshaid

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