Ramadan Cricket Festival

Although I spent most of my childhood in Abu Dhabi but I do remember spending a few Ramadan’s here in Karachi as a child. The best thing about Ramadan in Karachi used to be night cricket in our mohallah. It was fun putting up extra lights to play those ‘five-a-side’ matches. Ofcourse, not to forget the inter mohalla rivalry. As I only used to be here for my vacations, it would be something completely unusual for me. I still remember how one of our neighbours, a retired army major, gave everyone the nastiest possible looks on making so much noise and his car was usually one of the favourite targets 😉

Although, Ramadan nights street cricket remains the norm in a lot of mohallas, things have changed drastically for our mohalla, mainly after the development of Asghar Ali Shah Cricket Stadium. The road which was used to play cricket, now serves as the main parking area for the stadium. The 100 Watt light bulbs have been replaced by flood lights. The mohalla teams have been replaced by club teams and people in our mohalla have become mere spectators. And the funniest is that our very irritating neighbour who would complain on literally every ball seems to be helpless now.

I took these two pics last night when a match was in full swing. Notice how the dearth of ‘entertainment’ opportunities in Karachi makes sooo many people come just to see club cricket. Also, in the second picture, notice the Geo Super crew standing on top of the pavillion.

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12 thoughts on “Ramadan Cricket Festival”

  1. I remember this stadium. It is miles away from my house. It was almost like entering another city whenever we came there to meet my dad’s family.

    But I always was fascinated by its ‘night matches’ and big lights. Very cool.

  2. Although I spent my whole life in Karachi (short of few exceptions) I never liked cricket, maybe because I was never good at it. But the real reason that I used to tell myself was that I could n’t find its practicality. Now being a Navy brat I had a different opinion of sports and spending time on the whole. Dadio used to send us to sail or swim every other weekend.

    So cricket is as foreign a thing to me as any other outsider, but watching it was a whole different story,it was a family affair. But since the recent downfall of our team I don’t even like to watch it. Our cricket used to inspire and aspire a lot of poeple, young and old alike. It used to give us hope and faith (not the Hope and Faith in the show) What has changed?

  3. @ Mahwash
    its a lovely stadium…do check it out the next time you come to visit your dad’s family 😀 it was the first stadium in karachi to have flood lights (even before national stadium) and now that Dr Shah is the provincial sports minister, we are expecting more improvements

    @ Safiullah
    u were lucky to have other options. as for the downfall of our cricket and losing interest, i think most people would agree with you on that..even the die hard cricket fans. in addition to that, i understand why other teams dont want to come to pakistan, but its strange that our team is not really having any foreign tours as well.

    @ Humayon
    they are dark thanks to KESC. enlarge them, u should be able to see things clearly 🙂

    @ Anas
    sad, aint it?

    @ farooq
    lol…very true but most chicks do know a lot about cricketers 😉

  4. I have absolutely no interest in cricket. But I still go to night matches that my friends play just to tell who’s not playing good enough and then later having the living hell beat out of me…

  5. i think it has diminished due to one more fact…the streets that used be barn at one time are now flooded with vehicles (bikes,cars etc.).

    On the contrary stadium shows some improvement to the attitude of ppl towards sport. i think that instead of stadiums there should be more general public grounds where u can go without paying for the maintenance.

  6. Ah, mohalla cricket. I remember I always wanted to become a bowler, but for some very strange reason, I was always sent as the opening batsman. I ended up being a failure at both.

    My dad, by the way, really used to get irritated with night street tournaments. Thankfully, he was also respected enough for our car to remain in one piece!

  7. @ Absar
    lol..thats quite mean 😉

    @ Awais
    Im all for developing more parks and public gounds but i dont think the government would be able to take care of them properly so these ones are definitely better…atleast they are well maintained and provide better entertainment even if its for a smaller section of the society

    @ Saadat
    lol, thats the problem in Pakistan. We are bad at guaging people and always make them do what they arent good at.

  8. just imagine wat we go through…we have to stay awake the whole night cuz of the noise that they make at the stadium but i guess there are just so few opportunities for entertainment in Pakistan that we dont want this one to end

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