Women Are Taking Over Pakistan’s Male-Dominated Commentary Box

Marina Iqbal, Sana Mir and Zainab Abbas are among the fierce women who are breaking stereotypes by taking over the male-dominated cricket commentary box.

Marina Iqbal is among a number of women, some of them bring former players, others, however, simply cricket enthusiasts, who are storming the male-dominated cricket commentary box. While speaking to the press, Marina Iqbal shares her passion and experience in the field so far.

“As a tiny horror, breaking windows while playing cricket in my lawn, I would shut out the complaining from our neighbours by commentating on my own game. ‘What a shot by Marina Iqbal! She raises her bat to thank the cheering crowd’,” the former woman national cricket team all-rounder recalled.

“I used to mumble whatever came to my head about my game as I made runs, just like I had heard commentators doing it for cricketers on TV.”

Marina’s inspiration is Australian former cricketer, Melanie Jones, who also took to cricket commentary following her fruitful playing career. “Mel was my inspiration,” admits Marina.

“I played my last domestic match in 2018 and I started commentary that same year in October, during the ICC Women’s Championship in Australia. But the women commentators of Pakistan actually got noticed during the Pakistan Super League [PSL] 2020,” stated Marina.

“I also told [former women’s team captains] Urooj Mumtaz Khan and Sana Mir about it,” she says.

Among Marina’s experiences in the commentary box are the Pakistan and West Indies women series in 2019, the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy and the 2019 National T20, and radio commentary for the PSL. While speaking on the experience, Marina said: “Cricket commentary may seem like an easy job but it is not. It is a technical field.”

“In the commentary box, at first our male colleagues were quite sceptical about us, but all that is changing now as we prove ourselves,” she says.

Former Pakistan women’s team captain and current chief selector, Urooj Mumtaz Khan is also making her way to the commentary box. Like Marina, she also stepped into the field because of her passion for the sport.

Other females who are also making their way to the filed of cricket commentary include former captain Sana Mir and Zainab Abbas, whose work was well-received during the National T20 Cup. Although Zainab Abbas is not a former cricket player, she however carries an eternal passion for the game. “Women are playing sports and talking about sports. I feel glad to be part of it,” she says.

“Now the world is realising that like other workplaces, commentary boxes should also have both genders. I had to create by own path. It was not really about fame or glamour but about creating opportunities for more girls,” she says.

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