LAHORE: Women’s cricket has come a long way in recent years and Humaira Farrukh is a shining example of being the first women umpire from Pakistan.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has made a concerted effort to promote the game which has resulted in some inspired results this year. 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.
Backing up the progress on the field, success stories have emerged from other quarters too including match officials – who are an integral part of cricket. Humaira holds the distinction of Pakistan’s first-ever female umpire and has so far officiated in more than 170 matches at different levels.
Humaira has a rich experience of playing and administrating sport. She has represented the national hockey team and has worked as a sports administrator for the past 28 years. Currently working as a Director Sports at Lahore Garrison University, she is also pursuing her doctorate in sports sciences.
Humaira 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.
“I feel honoured that I have inspired other umpires. 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.”
Humaira is the only one in her family to pursue a career in sport. She owes her success to her mother, who fully supported her as she chased her dreams. When she used to play, women sport was restricted to college and university levels. But, in the recent years women sport, especially cricket, has become professional and she is grateful that PCB has played a vital role in that regard.