Jun 292017
Nahida Khan – Source: BBC News

Nahida Khan, who was the highest run-scorer in Women`s World Cup match against South Africa, has given the credit of her success to her father, reported the BBC

“My father backed me despite all the opposition from my family and tribe,” said Khan. 

“He would say to people that Nahida is my daughter, I am proud of her passion. He appreciated my struggle and that gave me all the confidence I needed as a budding cricketer.”

The 30-year-old international cricketer hails from Balochistan province.

“My strategy going into bat is always quite simple: score maximum runs and attack the opposition.”

Captain Sana Mir has also appreciated the presence of Nahida in team.

“Nahida is a true fighter and she showed that on the field. It would have been a one-sided affair without her contribution with bat and ball,” she opined on the match against South Africa – which Pakistan lost in a thriller.

Pakistan’s first female international cricket team was founded in 1997. 

Women cricket in Pakistan faced court cases and even death threats and the government banned them from playing in public for religious reasons.

The Quetta-born player made her international cricket debut in 2009 in a match against Sri Lanka at Bogra, Bangladesh. 

She was also a member of the team which took part in the 2010 Asian Games and won a gold medal.

Khan in her interview lamented that despite notable positive developments, women cricketers still face massive issues today.

“Even today, women cricketers have to practice in the same grounds as men due to a lack of facilities,” she said. 

“In a society where any intermingling of the sexes is frowned upon, you can imagine the stigma that follows.”

She shared obstacles she faced before reaching in the national squad.

“Once on my way back from practice, the rickshaw driver asked if I played cricket because he knew of a girl named Nahida – of questionable morals – who also played cricket with boys,” she said.

“I lied, but every day I am more conscious of the fact that my success would not have been possible without my father’s support.

“He would shut everyone up who tried to warn him of some impending moral disaster or trouble in finding a marriage partner because I played cricket.”

However, according to Nahida, her other family members were not as supportive as her father.

“My family used to say no one is going to marry me because I wear boys clothes and play cricket,” she adds.”No one wants a girl like that in their family.”

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