Mar 12, 2012 - Sana Kazmi, Shahid Afridi    3 Comments

Bright lights and Shahid Afridi’s adoring fans at NSK


I have spent many a memorable days at National Stadium in Karachi where I, with friends, family and all the other spectators, have rejoiced our wins, bemoaned our losses, have beaten down the water bottles on the chairs, screamed for every wicket taken and every boundary scored and always came home with a sore throat and broken down voice. Though needless, I would say it anyways; National Stadium has been an amazing part of my life in Karachi and I am sad that it has been three years since international cricket has not come to Pakistan.
If we talk about NSK, we have to talk about Shahid Afridi who has become an integral part of the proceedings at NSK for past so many years. Before anyone cast doubts over Shahid Afridi’s total pwnage of the crowds, s/he should at least once go to a stadium to see how Lala has millions of adoring fans wrapped around his little finger and how they wait for a wave from the showman and then cherish it with unmatched fervor. Last week, the  visit to NSK reminded me of the kind of effect Lala has over his millions of fans. At least I have never seen anything like that and I have seen international cricket in four different countries.
I was in Karachi last weekend and am grateful to Sana Kazmifor taking Summaiya and I for an exhibition match held at NSK. It was a perfect breezy March evening for cricket and National Stadium looked beautiful in floodlights. Though the match was not publicized, but there were quite a few cricket fanatics who were there to see their heroes and there is no cricketing hero bigger than Shahid Afridi in Pakistan.
It was during this match I met with a family who can lay claim for being one of the most dedicated and fervent fans of the man. There are four girls in the family and they all play club cricket and dream of hitting sixes like Shahid Afridi. Their mother takes them to all the practice sessions and matches and is totally supportive of her daughters’ sporting activities, something that we do not see often in Pakistan. They were so adorable, they made a birthday card for Lala and brought flowers and gifts for him and were determined to meet him and give it all to him in person.
I wish more girls get into sports and have parents who are as supportive as the parents of these lucky ones. I wish they get to play for the country and make us as proud as their idol, Shahid Afridi. 
National Stadium under lights

The game at full swing

The guy in that red circle is our Lala, it was the warm up football match before the game

These girls are hardcore Afridi fans

Some more fangurls and a sole fanboy

Birthday greetings for Lala

Every little boy wants to be Shahid Afridi
Another adoring fan
This one is also sporting Lala’s number

I mean business

Emulating the star-man pose

Boom Boom fan

The fanatics who would go to any match to enjoy cricket

Waiting for a glimpse
Mirza Iqbal Baig was also there in all his hair dyed glory
Every kid was wearing the number 10 shirt, that is the karishma of our beloved Lala

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3 Comments

  • Loved this post! Although my experiences at the Gaddafi have not been quite as pleasant, I cannot explain the heartbreak of international cricket having disappeared from Pakistan, and in the fashion that it did.

  • Thanks for stopping by Sabahat.

    I know what you are saying but security needs to come here before international cricket does. We cannot afford another incident like the other one. again.

  • Some Afridi fans! But why is he called Lala?

    PS: We too have our very own Afridi-di, who claims to be a good 5 years younger than her official age 🙂

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