This week, I’m in northern Thailand’s Chiang Mai, which was recently named the world’s most polluted city. It is unlikely that an international six-a-side cricket tournament would take place there.
However, the opposition is in its 33rd year. The most recent three years were lost to the Covid pandemic, so it was with some alleviation that a large number of the members, who just meet each other at the occasion, have assembled.
Teams pay for the chance to participate in this amateur tournament. Former international players who have retired have participated in previous seasons. They primarily came from Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Australia, and England, bringing both quality to the team’s play and anecdotes to the ongoing discussions.
Only at this competition does the team with which I have played for almost two decades meet. Since the majority of players are now older, it is always encouraging to welcome new teams.
There is a small bunch of Pakistanis who live and work in Chiang Mai. Their businesses have had a difficult time during the pandemic. A Pakistani contingent has joined them this year to increase their numbers. The majority of its members are from Islamabad.
According to my memory, Pakistan has only one other sixes team that has participated in the past. They told me of the trouble of raising assets, getting visas, and the difficulties of planning the interaction with flight appointments.
Thus, it was with an uplifted degree of interest that I moved toward the individuals from this new group, to figure out what had roused them to join the occasion, what their cricketing foundations were, and the way in which the group had been shaped. A fascinating narrative developed.
First and foremost, they adhere to the tenets of having fun, respecting the game, and working hard. These are exemplified by the fact that they believe they are the only mixed-gender amateur team in Pakistan. Furthermore, they look for individuals independent of financial and strict foundation.
Besides, enrollment is to a great extent by suggestion. Guest status is given to potential members, and once their alignment with the team’s principles has been established, they can move up to full member status.
The Islamabad Doosras team has expanded in Pakistan over the past three years. Outside of the capital, matches have been played in Peshawar and Lahore.
The team’s first international outing is to Thailand, where they will play against the Doosras, a cricket term for a specific type of spin delivery.
The doosra is generally acknowledged to have originated in Pakistan relatively recently. An off-turn bowler means to convey a ball which abandons the off-side toward the leg side of a right-given player. In conveying a doosra the bowler is looking to make the ball move in the direction of the offside to the shock of the hitter. In Hindi/Urdu, doosra implies the second or other one.
The name was selected to reflect a different, if not entirely conventional, strategy. The Doosras were pleased to tell me existing apart from everything else when a female player, Huda Rizwan, guaranteed the very first wicket by a person for the group.
The tour’s funding has also been approached in an unconventional way.
There has been some cross-subsidization due to the belief that members of the touring party should be chosen regardless of their ability to pay. Those who would not be able to make the trip on their own are supported by players with greater financial means. Shaping the Future, a company with a focus on human development and in line with the club’s principles, provided sponsorship.
The team currently has a domestic squad of around twenty players, of which fifteen are currently playing. The objective is to increase the number of opportunities for women to participate in sports and to eventually send a women’s team to the Chiang Mai Sixes. Four of the 28 teams in this year’s sixes are made up of women.
The number of games the Doosras can play each year has an impact on the team’s development goal. Contingent upon the frequency of the downpours, the point is to play three or four matches each month among November and Walk on the off chance that reasonable scenes can be reserved.
From the very first match, it was clear that the Doosras team that was assembled for this tournament had talented players, and this helped them get into the cup section, which is the highest level.
The players all come from different cricketing families. Umer Javaid, one of them, has a level two coaching badge and has played first-class cricket in Pakistan. Muhammad Fayyaz appears to be the squad’s fittest member and the club’s oldest member. Hisham Azhar, who has played against the Doosras for several years, has been a guest member for a long time but has recently become a full member.
While Rafi Romi, who has played competitive cricket in Pakistan, is making the trip for the first time on a plane, Zubair Ahmed, who is originally from Karachi, has covered stories about the game. Usman Javaid, a gender specialist at the World Bank, competed in swimming for 17 years and represented Pakistan. He started the team and helped build its structure, philosophies, and principles.
A team from Kolkata, India, was in the tent next to the Doosras. The rapid formation of bonds between the two squads mocks the tensions between their respective cricketing boards.
The Chiang Mai Sixes serve as an illustration of how the game can bring people of different abilities, genders, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds together in harmony at a time when cricket’s image is suffering, at least in the UK, as a result of the racism case involving Azeem Rafiq.
This is much more important when the accentuation is on having some good times, regarding the game, and investing greatest energy.