As a common Pakistani cricket lover, ever since I have arrived at the age of discretion I have found myself in an intense cricketing atmosphere, as far as sporting activities are concerned on that time (mid-70s) in Karachi. I remember how I used to wake up on Sunday mornings with knocking sound of hard cricket ball, through the window. I could see the enthusiasm of teens for the game, so fever of cricket grabbed me in my early childhood, which is not exceptional for a child from the subcontinent.
What is exceptional in my case was that I have chosen photography as a hobby, that turns in professional sports photography, especially cricket photography. That made my emotional affiliation with the National Stadium Karachi.
In my early teens, I have seen Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad, Sadiq Mohammad, Sikander Bakht, Haroon Rasheed and Iqbal Qasim in net practice sessions for their respective first class cricket teams at NSK. Since then I have witnessed so many international cricket matches and transformation of NSK in years.
I remember NSK’s first makeover for 1987 ICC Cricket World Cup, when they built a whole new main pavilion and the covered stands. Another make-over took place for the 1996 ICC Cricket World Cup, so I got the honour of being involved and cover the matches of the both of World Cups played at NSK.
The reason why I write all this is to let you know that I have golden memories of the stadium. I started my professional sports photographer’s job right from the NSK.
Today when I see this clip of NSK I got shocked. I didn’t believe my eyes that the historic cricket venue like National Stadium has turned into ruins. Now the PCB chairman Najam Sethi has promised that the NSK will be ready for Pakistan Super League matches in four months.
For the sake of cricket enthusiasts and through wisden.pk, followed well in Australia where I am based now, I hope and pray that the stadium gets ready by then. I am sure the PCB will rebuild the whole stadium to give its glory back. NSK is the EDEN Gardens of Pakistan.