- Hijab Zahid, a seasoned project manager, has been appointed as the first female general manager of Multan Sultans in the Pakistan Super League, succeeding Haider Azhar for the 2024 season.
- Zahid’s prior role was as the director of Grassroots Cricket, a digital media platform for cricket in Pakistan, highlighting her commitment to promoting the sport.
- Multan Sultans’ owner, Ali Tareen, aims to foster inclusivity by not only appointing Zahid but also considering three female coaches for the team, aiming to empower women in cricket management roles.
A historic milestone has been achieved by Multan Sultans as they appointed the first female general manager in the history of the Pakistan Super League.
Hijab Zahid, aged 28, has taken the reins from Haider Azhar as the 2024 tournament approaches. In her new capacity, she will shoulder the responsibility of overseeing the franchise’s endeavour to secure its second championship title.
Zahid’s transition into this role follows her prior engagement as the director of Grassroots Cricket, a digital media establishment specializing in Pakistani cricket, earlier in 2023.
In an interview with The Cricketer, she expressed, “This signifies a significant moment for me. My sentiments are genuine; even if I were to learn that another franchise has appointed a female GM, I would still experience immense pride and joy.”
She went on to elaborate, “The administrative and managerial facets of cricket have traditionally been domains where women have not been given opportunities for leadership. Thus, reshaping this narrative and shattering these barriers—especially with me leading the way—is truly remarkable. Finding the right words to convey my feelings is a challenge; each day, I mentally prepare myself for this role, and yet, new challenges present themselves. Undoubtedly, this is a transformative moment.”
Ali Tareen, the owner of Multan Sultans, made this appointment. His return to helm the team followed the passing of his uncle, Alamgir. Tareen has consistently advocated for greater inclusivity within the realm of men’s cricket and has actively supported women’s and girls’ cricket initiatives in Pakistan.
Reports suggest that Tareen’s ambitions extend to hiring three female coaches for the Sultans in the upcoming 2024 season.
Expressing her gratitude, Zahid mentioned, “I owe my gratitude to Ali for entrusting me with this role. His unwavering confidence and belief in me surpass even my own. This indicates that he perceives qualities in me that I might not be fully aware of yet.”
She added, “If I can successfully fulfil the responsibilities of this role, it will pave the way for countless women who have long awaited recognition, advancement, and the chance to assume roles of significance. These roles should entail genuine responsibility, due credit for achievements, and a position of leadership rather than mere subordination.”
Multan concluded the 2023 PSL season as runners-up, narrowly losing to Lahore Qalandars by a solitary run in the final match. A similar fate had befallen them in the 2022 final against the same opponents.
Zahid asserted, “Our objective is to secure the most skilled individuals, and gender should not be the sole factor. Our intention is to appoint women who are experts in their respective domains. Their current experience and exposure might be limited, but we can facilitate their growth.”
She emphasized the global significance of the league, stating, “The league is closely followed worldwide and ranks among the top three or four leagues globally. Consequently, our approach to introducing fresh talent must involve meticulous training and preparation. This is not only a part of my professional mission as the manager of Multan Sultans but also my personal aspiration—to cultivate a cohesive team.”
Kudos to Hijab for the marvellous achievement. We wish to see her soar even higher.
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