‘Cricketers weren’t comfortable in working with me initially’- Zainab Abbas about the challenges of being a female sports journalist in Pakistan
The 32-year-old has come up through the ranks and has carved a reputation for herself.
Updated - May 31, 2020 4:26 pm
Zainab Abbas, the Pakistan sports journalist, has recently opened up on the difficulties of being a female in the field of sports. For now, she is one of the most renowned names in the industry, having covered the 2019 World Cup and a few editions of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) as well. She also has hosted a few cricketing shows like ‘Sawal Cricket Ka’ and ‘Cricket Dewangi’.
However, it hasn’t been a smooth ride for her, though she has tasted significant amount of success in her career thus far. The 32-year-old woman prodigy revealed how a number of cricketers had inhibitions in working with her or sharing screen-space with her.
Zainab Abbas opines
“In Pakistan, being a woman in sports is a challenge. There were certain cricketers who were not comfortable working with me, because I am a woman. Some of the more religious were not comfortable sharing the screen space with me initially,” Zainab was quoted as saying on ‘Clean Bowled’ Podcast by Women’s Cric Zone.
However, gradually, she managed to build credibility with her consistency. “But, now, they are comfortable because I’ve worked long enough in the industry where people will feel a certain level of comfort, and people know that I will be doing my job well,” Zainab mentioned.
Apart from Abbas, the likes of Erin Holland, the fiancée of Ben Cutting, Mayanti Langer, Isa Guha and a few others have shone as female sports journalists. Like Zainab, even Langer, who’s the spouse of Stuart Binny, said how much she had to go through rejections to build a career.
In the podcast, Abbas chose Babar Azam, the Pakistan ODI and T20I skipper, as the one she would pay to watch. “Babar Azam, he’s absolutely incredible at the moment,” she quipped.
She also named Shoaib Akhtar when asked about the one from Pakistan cricket she would wish to get locked down with. “Shoaib Akhtar is super entertaining. I won’t get bored with him,” the Lahore-born Zainab mentioned.
Last year, Zainab tied the knots with Hamza Kardar, son of former finance minister Shahid Hafeez Kardar, who’s the son of Pakistan’s first cricket captain Abdul Hafeez Kardar.