Nida Dar: Inspiring Generation and Revolutionizing Women’s Cricket in Pakistan


In a remarkable journey that transcends borders and societal expectations, has emerged as a symbol of resilience and determination, igniting a revolution in women’s sports within her homeland of Pakistan. From humble beginnings playing street cricket, Dar’s story resonates with the triumph of the human spirit, as she shattered barriers to become an empowering role model for the aspiring young generation seeking to break through the glass ceiling.

Enduring numerous obstacles as a child, Dar fought against societal prejudices to embrace the simple joy of playing cricket with friends in her neighborhood. Unbeknownst to her, Pakistan had a women’s cricket team when she first embarked on her cricketing journey, which initially stemmed from her love for the game. Dar, now 36 years old, reminisces, “When I look back now, it fills me with happiness and pride because when I first started to play, I just played the game for fun. I did not even know that Pakistan had a women’s cricket team. For me, it was all about playing cricket for fun. I just wanted to play and play every day. I was in love with cricket.”Dar’s passion for the sport was ignited by her father, Rashid Hassan, who was a cricketer himself, having played first-class cricket in Pakistan.

Despite her father’s support, Dar encountered significant challenges prevalent for girls playing cricket in Pakistan during that time. Reflecting on those difficulties, she recalled, “For a girl those days, it was not easy to play cricket in the locality. There were so many challenges.” Even her brother, who excelled in sports, struggled to accept the notion of his sister playing cricket, adhering to the prevailing belief that sports were not meant for girls.Yet, Dar’s unyielding determination propelled her towards first-class cricket, where her consistent performances caught the attention of national selectors. On May 6, 2010, she made her international debut, marking the beginning of a 13-year journey during which she amassed 217 wickets and over 3,500 runs in 229 international matches. Today, she proudly serves as the captain of the Pakistan women’s cricket team.

According to Dar, women’s cricket in Pakistan has undergone significant transformation since she commenced her career over 15 years ago. She identifies the 2010 Asian Games as a life-changing moment, as their team secured the gold medal—an achievement that not only impacted her personally but also ushered in a new era for women’s cricket in Pakistan. “Now, the success that we have had over the years has inspired a lot of girls in Pakistan to play cricket. Girls now also look at cricket as a career option. Yes, there is still a long way to go, but it’s amazing how far we have come!” Dar expressed with conviction.

While Dar drew inspiration from her father and the legendary Shahid Afridi, known as “Boom Boom Afridi” for his exceptional six-hitting skills, she has now earned the moniker of “Lady Boom Boom” for her flamboyant batting prowess. “Shahid Afridi was my hero because I was an all-rounder, and I always looked up to him,” she reminisces. “Now they call me the Shahid Afridi of Pakistan’s women’s cricket. It makes me so happy.”What truly brings Dar joy, however, is the collective achievement of the team over the years. “Of course, what we have done as a team over the years makes me happier,” she asserts. “I think we have inspired a lot of girls to play cricket in Pakistan, we have inspired a lot of people to change their mindset. I think that is our biggest success.”Nida Dar

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