Women cricket is slowly and steadily making its mark in Pakistan. After beating West Indies for the first time ever in an ODI series, the women in green squared the ODI series against South Africa in their own backyard.
But the Pakistani women cricketers aren’t the only ones making a name on the field.
Field officials are another one.
Meet Humaira Farah, who holds the distinction of Pakistan’s first-ever female umpire and has so far officiated in more than 170 matches at different levels.
Farah who has a rich experience of playing and administrating sport, has represented the national hockey team and has worked as a sports administrator for the past 28 years. She is currently working as a Director Sports at Lahore Garrison University, where she is also pursuing her doctorate in sports sciences.
In an interview with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Farah said, “In the year 2005, I heard, the PCB was setting up a women’s wing and that is when I decided to pursue umpiring. The same year, I took part in the PCB Panel I and II umpiring courses and started my umpiring career. I am proud of the fact that I became the first female umpire in the country and since then eight more female umpires have emerged.”
“I am very confident of making a big name and inspiring other umpires. I want to emulate Aleem Dar and I also look up to Ahsan Raza. With more women games than ever taking place in the present PCB set-up, I feel more female umpires will emerge soon,” she added.
Citing it as an honour to have inspired other umpires, Farah said, “Initially women were reluctant and unsure about umpiring opportunities. Through the efforts of the PCB, women cricket has become popular across the country and there are more opportunities in the field than before. Gradually we will see more women entering the fray and that will only help in increasing the standard further.”
Farah who is the only one in her family to pursue a career in sports said she owes her success to her mother, who fully supported her as she chased her dreams.