Meet Pakistan Women Umpire Afia Amin, who made her dream of becoming an Umpire come true in a year
It all started fourteen years ago from an innocent investigation. Surprised by the idea of a man officiating a women’s match, Afia asked Adnan Rashid why she assumed the role she was told was due to the lack of female umpires on the circuit. Now, just in a year, Pakistan’s proud Women, 37-years-old, Afia Amin made her dream come true to become Women Umpire for Pakistan just like Aleem Dar.
-Afia Amin Speaking to PCB-
“It made me wonder why women can’t umpire in matches when they can play,” recalls Afia, 37-years-old, who now has more than 150 officials matches to his credit while speaking news. “It was at that moment that I told my husband that next year I would be officiating women’s parties.”
Afia had played sports from his early days, playing baseball for his college and school teams. But it was his family’s unwillingness that prevented him from playing sports as the first profession in life.
“People in my family don’t venture into sport. I’m the only person who’s ever done this,” he said. It is challenging in our society for women to enter this field. There are many convincing things to do.
“It’s very difficult for a woman to leave home in my family, even if it’s for education. I started refereeing after marriage. And it happened only for my husband. He’s my inspiration.”
Three years after her marriage, Afia began preparing for exams to be placed on the PCB arbitration panel. And, within a year, I’d cleared them.
As was to happen, in 2006, she found herself in the middle of acting as a referee in the same women’s tournament, which she had in mind. Four years later, Afia stood in the semi-final, between Abbottabad and Karachi, at Gaddafi Stadium, during a U16 regional tournament.
-Adnan Rashid on Afia-
“I was eager to learn more and more about arbitration, so I used to talk to myself about the laws of the game,” says Adnan, who began his umpiring career in 2005 and has officiated 13 first-class matches since 2016. “We use to discuss laws at home and how to judge difficult appeals, such as LBW. I also guided her on how to handle players during matches in their early days. We used to talk about various aspects of arbitration.
“One can learn more about arbitration by being on the field and officiates more and more matches. Our female referees have all the necessary skills. They just need to be polished, and that can be done by giving them more matches,” he said.
Afia is now among the country’s largest referees. There are a total of nine in the country due to the lack of interest in women to take arbitration as a profession.
Afia Amin hopes to Bring Change in Pakistan for Women Umpire
“Barriers for women exist,” he said. “Families do not allow girls and women to enter this camp. But, one of my motivations for entering the umpiring profession was to be a role model for the girls, my daughters and the women in my family.”
Her eyes are now on the women’s World Cup. Because that, along with providing you with international exposure, will help you establish Pakistan as a force to be taken into account in the field of arbitration.
“I look at Aleem Dar. It has made our nation proud of its international achievements, and my goal is to do the same. I want to officiate ICC matches, women’s World Cup matches. I hope for that opportunity, ” Afia said.