There are several factors that determine the effectiveness of a sports shoe. Factors like agility, grip, breathability, curvature, surface endurance and resistibility, flexibility, contour structure, and guards, tensile strength, etc. are some of the important asks by a player shopping for a hockey shoe. Both a beginner and a professional level player must wear a good sports shoe to showcase their best performance on the field.
While in a soccer cleat the inclusion of spikes is quite prominent, the hockey cleat uses a rubber grip for the right amount of friction required on a wet as well as a dry turf.
Features and Benefits of the Hockey Footwear
As mentioned earlier, a good hockey cleat must demonstrate characteristics like durability, agility, strength, flexibility, breathability, and much more. Jazba footwear brand incorporates the latest technology during the manufacturing of its products that includes-
- The Upper– it is an integral part of the sole configuration in both turf and hockey cleat design. Jazba footwear brand stands out for offering a 3D LayerCraft technology that integrates a flexible mesh in the upper sole of the footwear for extra-breathability of the fabric. This attribute is quite significant for sports turf or cleat, for it includes long hours of practice resulting to sweaty feet. Alongside the breathability, the micro-fiber unified in the fabric allows a PROGUARD feature offers an extra-protection to the player’s toe from friction related injuries during the extensive play duration. This layer is also made with waterproof lining for it maintains a steady ground even on a wet floor or turf.
- The Midsole– This creates the interiors of the shoe that the feet arein direct contact with. Thus, it is one of the most crucial surfaces of any sports footwear. Jazba footwear understands the importance of the midsole for it needs to have that extra-grip and room for the feet to be positioned comfortably as well as must have a strong shock absorbing capability to protect not only the feet but the intricate muscles in the leg. The integration of an EVA midsole meets the above requirements with ease, for EVA is considered the best shock absorbing material till date. Not only does the footwear offer shock resistance but this is a lot better in the flexibility, feet adhesion, as well as comfortable cushioning and curvature quotient.
- The Outsole– Even the footwear bottom needs protection and proper built. This part of the footwear is known as the outsole. In the game of hockey, players are seen playing on the grass or mud (in case of rains). In such cases, a highly configured friction resistant outsole is the key for a great performance expected from the player. With the help of the DURATURF Rubber outsole used by Jazba footwear brand, the player gets a 360-degree swift flow tread pattern and 3X tensile strength for a better playability in both wet and dry grounds.
In terms of a great grip against surface tension, colour patterns, latest technology, and several other attributes searched for by a beginner as well as a professional hockey player, Jazba footwear brand is an ideal option. The Jazba Rattler 2.0 is available in various colour patterns like blue, black, orange, yellow, and many others in both men and women categories. The Rattler 2.0 series is quite cost-effective, for it is priced at only $69.99 in both men and women categories.
Another brand which also has an economical hockey cleat is featured by the brand Under Armour. The Women’s Lax Finisher Turf Lacrosse Shoe (by Under Armour) is priced between $41.99 and $69.99 and is available in Amazon.
The footwear is certainly an integral part of a hockey player’s uniform. But it is not the only component that a hockey player needs. In the game of hockey, the player must be properly guarded and geared up with Shin guards, mouth guards, etc. Being a goalie is also quite a risky affair, hence he or she must be protected thoroughly with the help of helmets, goalie pants, pelvic protectors, leg guards, foam guards for cleats, arm guards, elbow protectors, right- and left- hand protectors and proper padding is vital.
How to Choose Hockey Shoes?
Before venturing out on a shopping spree, especially when it is related to sports, the buyer must be aware of the best features of the product in general. This knowledge is instrumental in helping the buyer to analyse the products and make the final call. There are a range of hockey footwear brands available in the marketplace which interrupts with the buyer’s decision-making quality. Brands like ASICS, ADIDAS, Gryphon, etc. also have good quality hockey cleats and turfs to choose from, but it may turn out to be an expensive buy for you.
Let us begin with the equipment terminology in the game of hockey, particularly if you are a beginner. Hockey can be bifurcated in two categories- field hockey and ice hockey. Of course, this article provides you with the field hockey paraphernalia. Usually, a beginner in the game is familiar with hockey turf, for they tend to play indoor practice games more often than not.
These turfs acquire their grip to the surface with the help of rubber soles.
Cleat, on the other hand, is usually used by a professional hockey player during a match to enhance their performance and agility this type of footwear promises to carry. Since an outdoor game is usually set up on grass or soil, the footwear are designed and integrated with plastic or metal spikes that acts like claws during the play.
- Types of Hockey Shoes
According to a recent estimate, the footwear market in the US alone is valued at US$34,550 million as of the year 2018. With this statistics, one can easily comprehend the kind of competition prevailing the footwear industry on a global scale. Hence, identify the right footwear and making a purchase needs a lot of analysis and knowledge, particularly when it related to playing sports.
In the hockey footwear market, there are several options offering trainer-like exterior that includes ankle support feature. The footwear can also be classified into categories that give prominence to the study of
- How and with what force will the foot hit the ground?
- How to control the gait of an individual player?
- What are the different kinds of technological inputs to make the footwear highly effective for the player?
- Size of the Hockey shoes
Shoe size is very important, not only for the manufacturer but also for the player. It is no brainer that a person may have to toggle between different sizes while trying to choose between an UK, US or EU shoe. If the buyer is buying the shoe directly from the store, comparing the shoe size and buying the right one is quite easy. But the major fall out happens when the product is purchased online (the most frequent activity of today’s millennial generation). Hence, knowledge of the brands and the shoe size measurement parameter each brand uses is very important while the buyer makes the purchase decision online.
- Terminologies used in Hockey Shoe Industry.
Every industry has their own terminologies to refer to different features and parameters their products showcase. In the hockey footwear market, the usage of RB (Rubber Sole), PU (Polyurethane Bottoms), EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) outsoles, TRP (Thermoplastic Rubber) bottoms, PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), BPU (improved form of Polyurethane materials) outsoles, ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) outsoles, etc. are quite common. A basic understanding of what each material carries and how it will benefit their performance matrix is recommended before a purchase is made.
Our Recommended Hockey Shoes for 2019 are:
In $100 range.
Adidas Lux Men’s Hockey Shoes,
With a great brand to back it up, Adidas’s SRS.4 has the best ventilation and foot support system for the player. Armouring the person with a strong grip, it has a very comfortable foot-resting midsole section. Not only does this cleat helps protect the sole and ankle area, its special features like Bootee construction, and Neoprene collar helps keep away the water to seep into the shoes and is mud and moisture resistant.
Kookaburra Field Hockey Shoes Turf Cleats Enigma II Unisex Men & Women,
One of the stand-out features of this pair of field hockey shoes is that it works on cage technology. With this the player is benefitted with a comfortable midsole, a well-gripped outsole, and latex covered upper sole which is water-proof in nature.
Kookaburra Xenon Hockey Shoes- SS19,
Given its trademark cage technology concept, this pair of shoes is another great choice for field hockey enthusiasts. It emphasizes on toes protection of the player by offering him with a Toe guard thicker coverage.
Gryphon Aero G5 Turf Women’s Field Hockey Shoes
It has a distinguishing feature amongst other shoe brands in this category, for it has a unique forefoot flex-engineered mechanism. It also has a multi-stud grip configuration to hold the feet in place in difficult turfs.
Jazba Women Rattler Hockey Shoes,
This hockey shoe is the right built for field hockey enthusiasts and players. It offers the player with the right amount of cushioning, a perfect shock-absorbing feature with the help EVA midsole, a strong grip in wet and dry turf due to its PROGUARD 360-degree tread pattern technology. It has a flexible mesh with waterproof functionality, breathability and protection to the player’s feet with the help of 3D LayerCraft technology. With the help of these features, the player can easily ward-off serious leg injuries during the play.
Another prominent brand in the sports shoe category, Under Armour features this imported, lightweight, EVA sock liner incorporated, rubber outsole, cleat that does not just look good bust also offers a high-performance on the field. It is known for its incredible grip which it maintains with the help of a patterned rubber outsole built with mini-lugs. Manufactured in synthetic and textile material, this cleat can be easily worn in an artificial as well as natural dry or wet terrain.
Each footwear (cleat or turf) purchased must meet the durability, flexibility, foot and ankle support, and most importantly comfort parameters a buyer is looking out for. A proper and flexible GEL-based cushioning system makes the run comfortable for the hockey player. During the play, the player is not just moving at one particular pace but has to perform quick reflex movements which are strenuous for the feet and muscles. A good hockey cleat can help manage the stress of the feet to a great extent.
The Jazba Sports Rattler 2.0 series meets the above-mentioned parameters and offers the player with great comfort, agility, and durability with the inclusion of latest technologies in its footwear manufacturing process. Hence, a great buy for real-time hockey players.
All in all, the above categorization of hockey shoes is based on both pricing and feature classification. When on one hand, you can opt for the Adidas Lux Hockey Shoes for $100 (close to) per pair, you can still protect your feet while playing the game. The brands like Avia, Joomra, Gryphon etc. have options in the range of $50 or below. However, the best brand that falls within the bracket of $50-$100 is the Jazbasports’ rattler 2.0.
Hockey is one of the oldest ball and stick games in the world. The sport is played with 10 players in the field from each team. However, in the Asian Games, each team has 16 players and 11 of them are on the field and the rest of them are in the interchange area. Players get the hockey stick with which they have to control, push, pass and hit the ball. The main objective of the game is to get the ball into the goal post of the opponents. The team with more scores will be the winner. However, for each player buying quality shoes is very important. Here we have a little guide that will help in selection of best shoes.
Things to look for in hockey shoes
Hockey is not all about the training that you will get or the skills that you have. If you do not own the best hockey shoes, you will not be able to give your best performance. There are many players who are unable to invest in the good quality hockey shoes. The reason is that they do not know what to look for in the hockey shoes. Here we have the features you should look for in the best hockey shoes.
First, you have to consider the stability you will get with the hockey shoes you are planning to buy. You need to consider the traction and grip you will get with the shoes. It is better to get more traction and grip because that is the only way you will be able to maintain your hold on the ground and play energetically. If your shoes are not highly stable there are chances that you will fall on the ground and it might lead to some severe injuries.
Do not forget to consider the quality of the shoes you are planning to buy. First, you have to check the quality of material that is used in the construction of shoes. From the quality of mesh to inner sole and outer sole of the shoes you should know about everything. Assure the best quality material is used in the manufacturing of the product. The next thing you have to check is the construction quality of hockey shoes. Even the shoes have the best quality material but their construction quality is not good you might not get the support that you need.
3-Support and comfortability
You should know that there are different types of arches of the foot that we all have. If we will not pay attention to the arch it will get hard for us to select the right type of shoes that can support the arch of foot properly. While buying the shoes you have to assure that it is designed according to the arch of your foot for extra support. Another thing you have to consider is the comfort level. Remember that shoes should have extra cushioning, so they can protect your feet against all types of injuries. You should be able to give a pain-free performance on the court.
A common mistake most people make while selecting the shoes is that they do not pay attention to the durability of the product. You have to assure that shoes you are investing in should have extra durability. If your shoes are not durable you will not be able to use them for a long time. Changing shoes will make it hard for your feet to adjust and it can create some internal injuries. It is better that you invest in extra durable shoes because that is the only way you can use them for a long time without investing in the new ones.
You have to pay attention to protection you will get in the shoes that you buy. Make sure that the shoes are waterproof and breathable. Waterproofing is important because in case you have to play on the wet turf or weather stares to change your feet will not get wet because of the water. In the same way, breathability is very important to assure that moisture will not stay in the shoes. You should know that if your hockey shoes are not breathable you might have to suffer from some serious skin diseases.
Make sure that you consider the cost of the product that you are planning to buy. There are many expensive products available in the market but they cannot provide you with the features that you want. In the same way, some small brands have the best hockey shoes available at the most affordable rates. That is why you should not always go after the highest price. It is better that you compare the features with the cost of the product before selecting the one that meets your demands and budget perfectly.
7-With or without lace
Recently, two types of hockey shoes have been introduced in the market. One comes with lace and others do not have lace. You have to compare the benefits and drawbacks of both types of shoes to assure that you can get the one you are most comfortable with. It is better that you invest in the shoes that have lace because they will provide better grip to your feet. As well as you will not have to fear about slipping or having loose shoes before the game.
The best middle priced hockey shoes
Once you will check all the features that you need in the shoes you are planning to buy the next thing you have to consider is the brands. There are various brands that have introduced high-quality hockey shoes. You will easily find the middle prices shoes in the market. However, a common confusion most people have is they are unable to find the product that will suit their style perfectly. Here we have the list of the top middle priced hokey shoes that you must consider buying.
Kookaburra: XENON SS19
It is one of the best middle prices shoes you will find in the market. It is manufactured with the special cage technology that enhance protection and support you will get while you are wearing the shoes. It is ideal for those with mid foot. The best thing about the shoes is the breathability. The air easily passes in and out through the shoes. It has a synthetic material which is reliable and long lasting. It comes with the lace up closure. There is a toe guard coverage that provides extra protection to your toes while you are playing in the field. It has a comfortable fit that will allow you to play on the field with full confidence without dealing with any kind of pain in your feet.
Reece: Revolution X-Blade
If you are looking for shoes that can improve your speed and provide you better control in the field then X-Blade will be your best choice. The shoes have been designed in such a way that you will get extra grip while you are on the field. The biggest attraction of the product is the lightweight design that will allow you to easily run and play in the shoes without feeling any kind of extra weight in your feet. There are special studs attached at the right location on the shoes that will distribute the pressure properly to assure that your feet will stay comfortable and you can get the extra grip that you need on the field. It has a breathable and removable insole.
Puma: EVOSPEED 3.4FH
EVOSPEED by Puma are the multifunctional shoes which have been designed to improve the performance of the player. It is perfect for the artificial grass and the hard surface of the natural grass. You can play with the shoes on surface which is available. It has been manufactured with the synthetic leather and a lightweight mesh material that gives a fresh look to the shoes and you can comfortably use them while you are playing hockey. EVOSPEED will provide you with extra durability and support that will make it easier for you to give you best. It is available in some exciting colors.
Jazba Rattler 2.0
Rattler 2.0 is specially designed for the hockey players who are looking for shoes which can provide extra protection and durability. The Rattler 2.0 comes with some premium features like the 3D layer craft upper technology and hi flexibility for amazing protection. You will get a special sole treads pattern that will provide extra comfort while you are running on the wet turf. The Rattler 2.0 has waterproof technology that will keep your feet protected when you are on the wet turf to assure you can give the best performance. In the same way, it is highly breathable that makes it easier to play in the shoes when the weather is not favorable outside. Rattler 2.0 will keep your feet comfortable and secure regardless of the conditions or the weather in which you are playing.
Some of the amazing features you will find in the Jazba Rattler 2.0 are.
- The flexible mesh of rattler 2.0 is combined with the 3D layer craft that enhances the quality and durability of the product.
- It is manufactured with waterproof lining to enhance the protection you will get while playing in the shoes.
- Rattler 2.0 has been designed to provide extra breathability and stability. It comes with the pro guard of microfiber that will provide more resistance to toes to assure you can play comfortably.
- The best thing about the rattler 2.0 is the dual midsole that will provide extra flexibility, bounce back and adhesion to the feet. You will get extra cushioning that will protect your feet in all conditions.
- The outsole of the rattler 2.0 is manufactured with the 360 degrees swift flow thread pattern that will allow you to give your extraordinary performance regardless of the turf. They are great on the dry and wet turf. It has 3 times more tensile strength because of the rubber base of the sole which improves the sole bonding of the product.
- Rattler is highly durable and It will surely protect your feet for as long as you like during the game.
Why buy Jazba Rattler 2.0
You might have been wondering that why you should invest in the Rattler 2.0 when there are various other products available in the market. Here we have some specifications of Rattler 2.0 you will not find in any other product.
3D layer craft
It increases the flexibility that you will get with the shoes. You will surely love the extra comfortability and protection that you need. Rattler 2.0 will provide you support and it is very lightweight.
There is a special foam in the midsole of the foot that will perfectly adjust according to your foot. It will be easier for you to run on all types of turfs and grounds once you have the Rattler 2.0 in your feet. You will not feel any extra pressure on your feet.
Dura turf rubber
There is a special type of superior rubber in the outer sole of the shoes that enhance the cushioning you will get for your feet. It will protect your feet from injuries while you are plying on the grounds. As well as reduce the pain that you might have to deal with. The rubber is high-quality and will not undergo any kind of wear or tear.
When it comes to price of the product there is nothing better than Rattler 2.0. Rattler 2.0 is a reliable and good quality shoes that you must have in your collection if you are planning to buy the best hockey shoes. The biggest attraction of Rattler 2.0 is that they are available in amazing colors. You can easily select the color that meets your demands perfectly and will allow you to give your best performance in all conditions. Rattler will allow you to take your performance to the next level. The product is available at the most affordable rate. Order your shoes now from Jazba.
Where to begin with fitness? All of us want to be fit but struggle with the how’s?? The simplest starting point could be the posture.
The idea is simple: Spend one month to perfect your posture. Agree this is not as attractive or sexy as the bigger goals to have flat washboard abs or an ideal bikini body but poor posture is often the small factor that effects the bigger overall well being, performance and confidence.
Posture is the Core- In India, the yogis have known and practiced this for generations as what we now call “mountain pose.” In which you stand erect with your feet together and arms at your sides or hands folded into a ‘ namaste’ in front of you, and preferably close your eyes . After a while you can feel your body swaying in an attempt to maintain balance. That is the natural corrective programming of our body to correct the posture, that we silence over time.
Easy corrective techniques for good posture
1. Duct tape yourself– Find a roll of duct tape. Remove your shirt, stand straight and upright, have a friend apply a strip of tape down your spine—from the base of the neck to your lower back. Then apply two other pieces of tape from the top of each shoulder to the middle of your back. When finished, it will look like an upside-down peace sign.
Now wear your shirt back on and start your day—working at the computer, driving your car, partying, doing household chores, playing at the field, whatever, wherever. But, every time you start to hunch or slouch, the tug of the tape will remind you to stand taller or sit straighter while gently pulling you back into alignment. In case of men with hairy backs this could feel more than a tug 😉
If an athlete’s posture is really bad the duct tape method is an effective way to help correct it. Wearing duct tape for a week or month should do the trick.
In case the tape comes off real quick it just goes to show how much you slouch and should be replaced immediately. For a sportsperson this maybe difficult on routine days but is an effective way to maintain body discipline on your rest schedules.
The goal is to go through an entire day without feeling the tape on your back.
2. Exercise- Professionals will still have to do their scheduled workouts and sessions but having a strong core of endurance muscles helps sit taller, stand straighter and run better. Even on the field whatever your sport you will feel the difference of a good posture.
3. Water and Diet- A balanced diet and regular intake of water is a must for good health, this is something we all know of but water or diet effects our posture was something we don’t really relate. But of course, dehydration or a deficient diet lead to fatigue which in turn leads to poor posture.
Posture affects more than you imagine and should be a first-line of treatment if your performance is slipping. If you’re experiencing chronic pain or are continually disappointed in your performance even after focused training, have a physical therapist or other expert evaluate your posture. Few athletes think to do it, but it should be foundational. The adjustments you make to your posture will make a noticeable performance and comfort difference. You could even try to video yourself while training to analyze your posture by yourself.
If a simple hug has the power to comfort people and restore their self confidence, then adjusting your posture could be the self hug you need to win.
DO NOT take your dismissal out on the cricket bat once you get in the change rooms.
DO NOT use your cricket bat against cheap hard cricket balls, this will damage the bat.
DO NOT leave your cricket bat in the hot boot of a car. This is one of the worst things you can do especially in hot summer months when cricket is played. Both heat and humidity can dry out a bat.
DO NOT expose your cricket bat to excessive moisture or rain. Always dry your bat immediately if it does get wet. (To minimise absorption through the toe of the bat feel free to give this area a light coat of varnish.)
DO NOT OVER OIL your cricket bat. Less is best when it comes to oiling. Specialized cricket bat oils or raw Linseed Oil works best. About 1 teaspoon is enough for 1 coat that covers the toe, face and edges. Do not oil the whole bat.
DO NOT try to discover the aerodynamic capabilities of your cricket bat after a dismissal. Cricket bats were not designed to fly and throwing your bat is one of the silliest things you can do to it. We have never known a cricket bat to be responsible for a dismissal anyway!
DO take care of your cricket bat.
DO prepare and Run your cricket bat in correctly.
DO oil your cricket bat regularly (a very, very light coating once every few months).
DO store the cricket bat in a cool dry location away from excessive heat or moisture.
DO inspect the bat regularly for damages and repair promptly.
DO store your cricket bat in a horizontal position always.
And ….. DO go out and make runs with it!
[mark style=”paragraph” color=””]Wasim had to face a battle with diabetes when he was diagnosed with the disease in 1997.
The news had a terrible impact on him as he was only 29 at that time. He was really down and depressed after the news. However, like the fighter he is, he won this battle.
Wasim had once commented on this issue:
“I was diagnosed with diabetes in 1997. I was only 29 years old. I thought my life was gone — no more cricket. But, my wife gave me mental strength. It’s just mental discipline. Temptations are there. I feel like having biryani every night — naans and kulchas, and niharis. But I avoid it.”
“I will eat in moderation and now my brain has programmed itself in a way that if I eat slightly more, I start feeling like I’m bloating. I feel I’m going to throw up. So with mind discipline you can do anything. It’s tough to start off with it but once you start feeling healthy, everything works for you then. Health is everything.”. [/mark]
However being the fighter he is, he made a lot of changes to his food habits and programmed an exercise schedule for him to stay fit.
The diet and lifestyle changes made by him to live and perform better are as below:
1. DIET CHANGES
To cut out and reduce a lot of heavy stuff from his food, including high carb food and oily stuff. Also, increase the proportion of vegetables and salad in his diet to ensure he felt full and stop food cravings.
Wasim commented on his diet changes:
“In Urdu-Hindi we say ‘kam khao to zindagi lambi jayegi’ (eat less and you’ll live longer). He cultivated this habit.
For example, I don’t eat bread at night because there are more carbs in it. If I feel like it, I’ll have half a roti. I’ll have a chicken tikka, but I’ll have a massive bowl of salad.”
“And then I check my sugar levels. I’ve trained my mind. I love my steaks, but I just eat less, at home or otherwise. Before lunch, I eat a bowl of stir fried vegetables so my stomach is more or less full. And then I’ll have a little of whatever else is there. So that’s the sort of technique I’ve used to train myself.”
“I do the same thing wherever I am. I can have something before the meal — something healthy, something non-sugary¸ maybe a fruit.
Wasim also incorporated regular exercise as part of his daily schedule to keep burning the calories and avoiding weight gain. He commented on his exercise schedule after the diagnosis:
“Exercise for diabetics is most essential. In our culture, we were told diabetics get tired. But why? Because their sugar levels are not in control. When your sugar is not in control, your muscles are not getting the right amount of glucose. That’s why you feel weak.”
“I’ve proved it wrong. I’ve played cricket for ten years in the national cricket and I’ve been running around these last ten years day in and day out, exercising every day twice a day. Exercise is very crucial, and regularly checking sugar levels when under stress, when not well, if you’re too happy — it fluctuates.”
3. LIFESTYLE CHANGES
“If it’s [sugar level] a bit high after dinner, then I go for a half-hour walk and when I come back and check, I see it’s gone down. If you’ve got to go for a job at 9 am, get up at 6.30 am, sleep early. In our culture, we don’t sleep early. I eat by 7.30-8 pm. I sleep by 10.30-11 pm. Wake up at 6 am with my kids and then go for my run.”
“So, these small details are what you need to learn yourself. I’ve never let it hamper my playing. I got diagnosed in 1997 and retired in 2003 and I got 200-plus wickets in one-day and in test cricket after being diagnosed. I’ve not tired still.”
An inspiration for the next generation of sportsmen and commoners alike
Wasim has also raised awareness amongst the common public facing diabetes about the importance of diet, exercise and discipline to fight the ailment. Hope that more people can become aware of ways to fight against this illness and lead a happy and balanced life.
The epic career of Akram, even after being diagnosed with diabetes, suggests that a man can do whatever he wants, provided he possesses the will to really do it.
Making of the Afghan Cricket Team in the refugee camps of Pakistan
Even though the roots of cricket go back to the 1800’s in Afghanistan, when it was played by British soldiers in Kabul, the game didn’t catch on at that time. Later, the long-war affected every sector in Afghanistan, including sports.
If you hail from a country which was war torn, had no government for the first half of your lives, I guess it couldn’t get tougher for you to choose a sporting profession and something which the Taliban had prohibited the Afghan people from doing. In the fight for survival to even think of sports is deemed as betrayal. Despite the Taliban, deaths, bombs and poverty, a few boys, Taj, Karim and Raees, teenagers or younger, decided they wanted to be cricketers. They planned to form the Afghanistan Cricket Board, field a national team and win the World Cup. When you understand their background this was nothing short of a miracle.
They’d been inspired by crackly television images of Pakistan winning the 1992 World Cup, when they beat New Zealand and England in the semifinal and final.
All along the way they have met with various roadblocks- But they stayed undeterred, most staying as refugees in refugee camps in Pakistan. The craze that cricket has in Pakistan induced them into getting closer to the game. Eventually most of them learnt the game, its technicalities, do’s and don’ts in those refugee camps.
What the refugees in Kacha Garhi faced was indeed a world away. Their parents forbade them to play – they were required to work all day for a pittance to help sustain their families.
But they snuck around and persevered. They fashioned a bat from tree bark and played with a tape wrapped tennis ball. The tape helps the ball skid of the pitch and also makes it act a bit similar to the expensive leather balls which these kids could never access.
Amazingly they improved enough to be able to play in a league competition in Peshawar, again without their parents’ knowledge. They were joined by a few others, notably Allah Dad.
They were among some of the young cricket visionaries, who faced a lot of danger taking their game back home, negotiating with the Afghanistan Olympic Committee and then the Taliban, which initially banned cricket.The cricketers eventually received a dispensation to play, but only if they wore full Afghan attire, grew their beards out and prayed five times a day.They wanted to hold trials, but couldn’t find a suitable venue – the stadium in Kabul was used for weekly public floggings, amputations and other punishment.
Amazingly, cricket gradually took hold and the tiny pool of cricketers grew.
The Afghanistan Cricket Board was formed in 1995 and become an affiliate member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2001 and member of the Asian Cricket Council in 2003.
Afghanistan Ranked 19th in International T-20 cricket as of 7 January 2017 ahead of full members Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
With the game Afghan people have found a reason to unite, forget all the problems, stress and pressures. To live, breathe, throw their arms in the air, celebrate, wave their national flag with that much more pride, walk in front of any other cricket playing nation and proudly announce being an Afghanistan cricket team fan.
This is the story of true determination, to keep going despite the road blocks and not let your present determine your future. A passion for sports performance- JAZBA.