KARACHI: Paving the way for more women to enter sports in Pakistan, Humaira Farah holds the distinction of being Pakistan’s first-ever female umpire and has so far officiated in more than 170 matches. She has had a rich past in sports within Pakistan whereby she has for the past 28 years worked as a sports administrator and has represented the national hockey team in the past as well.
She is presently the director of sports at Lahore Garrison University alongside pursuing her PhD in sports sciences. In a recent interview with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), she said, “I am proud of the fact that I became the first female umpire in the country and since then eight more female umpires have emerged.”
In addition, Humaira stated that she hopes to emulate figures like Aleem Dar and looks up to Ahsan Raza. Her aim is to inspire women to join the field similar to when she did when she heard PCB was setting up a women’s wing in 2005, which is when she decided to pursue umpiring.
The former hockey player attended a workshop held in Lahore in August of this year to update the latest laws of the game. Aleem Dar, from the elite panel of ICC Umpires, was among the lecturers in this workshop and in an interview with Cricket Pakistan said, “Women umpires are a great asset for Pakistan cricket. They have been working hard to leave a mark and their passion and love for the profession is truly commendable. The women in Pakistan have been playing an integral role in the development of the society and it is high time we recognise the efforts these women have been putting in.”
He further commended the current nine female umpires that exist alongside Humaira and stated that he hopes that they inspire more women to join the sport or officiate it.
Being the only member of her family to pursue a career in sports, Humaira owes her success to her mother who fully supported her dream and encouraged her. She states that Pakistan has come a long way when in the past sports for women were restricted till college and now sports for women are being taken both seriously as well as professionally.