Nahida Khan Achakzai: Rising International Cricketer from Balochistan

Adnan Aamir
Pakistan team lost its first match in ICC Cricket Women’s World cup against South Africa played in Leicester, England on Sunday. However, in the same match Pakistani opener Nahida Khan Achakzai scored 79 runs which is highest individual score in a Women’s World Cup match for Pakistan.
This is the first time that First women international cricketer from Balochistan was properly introduced to the people across Pakistan.
Screenshot of the match, Nahida on left
Born in a Pashtun family of Achakzai tribe in Quetta in 1986, Nahida Khan started playing domestic cricket from 2004. She made her International debut against Sri Lanka in February 2009. As a Right-handed batswomen Nahida has scored 547 runs in 33 One Day International (ODI) matches.
In Pakistan’s world cup opening match against South Africa, Nahida smashed 79 runs with 9 fours and 1 six.
Jarrod Kimber, ESPN Cricinfo Writer, wrote about Nahida’s performance in the match, “It was only Nahida Khan who looked completely top class. She hit balls through the packed off-side field with such ease they seemed on rails. When she needed a boundary, she would clear her front leg and try a controlled swing.”
In an interview given to BBC Urdu Nahida revealed that she used to be the only girl playing cricket in the streets and she was also criticized for that. “I was selected in PCB school trials in 2007 and that opened the doors of international cricket for me, she said in interview.
Narrating the societal pressures faced by her as a woman, Nahida told BBC that People from her family also criticized her for playing cricket playing but she survived due to unrelenting support of her father.
She also revealed that in Quetta she used to practice with boys due to lack of availability of ground for girls. That was not liked by anyone, she said.
Header Photo credit: ESPN Cricinfo
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Adnan Aamir is founder and Editor of Balochistan Voices. He also contributes for The News, The News on Sunday and Newsline Magazine amongst others as a freelancer. He has completed Chevening South Asian Journalism fellowship from the University of Westminster.