This Ramadan, Karachi is home to another edition of Dr. MA Shah T20 league where top clubs compete at night for the coveted cup.
It is probably the most watched club cricket tournament in the world. With live TV Broadcast by Geo Super, full attendance at the stadium, and thrilling encounters between club cricketers.
Occasionally, a cricket star would also participate, like Shahid Afridi and Yunis Khan. But the large majority of the players are never heard of pure talents from the streets of Karachi.
This year, there is a healthy addition of Afghanistan Youth Team, which is playing in the tournament. What was even more interesting to see was a whole enclosure for Afghani Fans to sit and enjoy their team take on Pakistani clubs. It goes on to show how popular the league is becoming with foreign teams now participating.
What I like about watching these matches is that it is raw talent slugging it out there among the best of their peers to win the coveted title. Even the sponsors, there are quite a few, are all local brands to Karachi that probably no one has ever heard of before. The atmosphere is electric and the competition enthralling.
Karachi has truely produced a great cricket T20 tournament from the ground up. It has a huge fan following and games are nothing but great entertainment.
The timing of the games is also interesting. Usually the matches begin when the sun goes down. And continue on till wee hours of the morning. The spectators still make it to the bleechers, despite needing to go to work the next day, and local restaurants keep them fed with their mobile kitchens. Considering it is Ramadan, many prefer to do their Sehri meal at the ground rather than at home.
Over all, I look forward to this tournament as it is truly unique and indigenous to Karachi. I hope similar high powered and quality cricket tournaments could be arranged at other towns and cities of Pakistan. Maybe, I might turn out to play for one of those teams, if it happens to be in Islamabad.