There was a time the when the grounds of GIK were devoid of any true form of cricket. Sure, there was the occasional five people playing a more traditional version of cricket; with bricked wickets and flip flop; the area in front of the sports complex all but lacked the character of the game.
There is passion but that which is overtaken by folly. Compared to the halls filled with impassioned supporters of the game for those once in a season Pakistan vs India match, the passion would all but end at the end of the corridor. And this was what was to be changed by a handful of students of GIK in 2014.
GIKI is a place known for many things; academics, esteemed alumni, the unique society culture and its firm presence in areas such as debates, MUNs, football, basketball, automotives and aviation, but fell behind in one of the most popular sports of the country. For many years the presence in local tournaments was not so noteworthy of its achievements.
It changed for the better after a scornful defeat of GIK at the HEC Tournament in 2014. GIK despite its best efforts did not even manage to clear the preliminary round. Jawad ul Hassan of Batch 23 decided to raise a team from its lost former glory. Having picked the players with the most potential from the junior batches he decided to train them. Ridding them of their tape ball cricket and introducing to the leather ball format of the game.
The efforts that were soon to follow would not have been possible without the aid of Qasim Waheed (Batch 24) who alongside Jawad convinced Abdullah Ibrahim, Bilal Aamir, Akhunzadah Zaheer, Fawad Ahmed, Zaiem Afzal and Mehboob Qadiri to join the team. With the lining complete, the team underwent a transformation as diligent net practice, strict routine and a proper diet attuned the team to that of a cricket’s man character. In a masterstroke Jawad decided that his new team shall play matches against the hard ball cricket clubs of Topi and Tarbella.
At first the Topi Cricket Club refused to play a match against GIK, arguing that the team was not good enough (as proven by Topi’s undefeated streak since the past 6 years). GIK was unwavered and went on to defeated every cricket club in Topi and Tarbella in the years to follow.
After playing competitive cricket for a year, Jawad started to target different universities. But the problem persisted of GIK having no turf pitch to invite other universities. In order to demand a pitch the team had to meet the Rectors demand: The team should prove itself first.
This year for the first time in 6 years, proper cricket trials were held for the junior batches and it resulted in players like Shehzad Hussain, Ahmed Farooq, Saad Bakhshi, Ammar Raza, Saad Abid. Haris Rasheed (graduate) and Bilal Masood (Batch 22) also became a part of the cricket team.
GIK had come a long way to even defeat the likes of COMSATS, AIR University and NUST. Ending the season by participating at the LUMS Nationals.
As promised the Rector ordered the construction of a turf pitch at the GIK Ground.
GIKI Cricket Team has decided to name a wicket end as ‘Jawad ul Hassan End’ as a gesture of appreciation for all the services Jawad has provided for this team. Someone has rightfully said that one man can make a difference!
Support GIK Cricket team here: https://www.facebook.com/GikiCricket/
A GIKI BlogPost Original (GIK CRICKET: RISING FROM THE ASHES BY BILAL AAMIR – BATCH 24)
This blog is taken from the GIKI BlogPost and all the credit goes to them. All thanks to GIKI Alumni Association and to the one and only Rayyan Zahid (Batch 24) – Vice President Marketing – GIKI Alumni Association.
Rayyan Zahid is serving a role that aims to grow and maintain one of the greatest collection of human capital in Pakistan. His responsibilities revolve around building a nexus of opportunities from a network consisting of 6000+ professionals from 70+ countries that are part of the alumni association. He also served as Assistant Manager E-Commerce for Reckitt Benckiser in the past and is currently settled as Climate Reality Leader in United States.