Sports commentary has long been dominated by men in Pakistan in fact all round the world. However, now we are witnessing a gradual change in this norm as women like Zainab Abbas, Aalia Rasheed, and Sawera Pasha are breaking the glass ceiling. Aalia Rasheed is a seasoned journalist who has worked with several prominent names in the field like BCC, ICC, and PCB. Sadly, women anchors and journalists still have to face deep-seated misogyny.
Just yesterday, during a panel discussion on Geo Super, sports analyst Aalia Rasheed, was discredited for stating her analysis. The panel included prominent names in sports commentary like Syed Yahya Hussaini and Abdul Majid Bhatti, whereas the show was being hosted by Sawera Pasha and Fatima Saleem.
The comment suggested that Aalia’s opinion doesn’t matter as she herself has never played test cricket. The journalist, however, held her own.
Mujhay aaj GeoSuper per bataya gia kay mera cricket per technical baat karna ‘Crime’ hai kyunkay main Test cricketer nahi hoon. My reaction👇 Plz guide cricket show main kis per baat honi chahyey? pic.twitter.com/U7IWJW7CpO
— Aalia Rasheed (@aaliaaaliya) August 15, 2020
She presented a very logical counter by reminding everyone that the job of a sports analyst is to study the game and then present their analysis. She rendered the comment absolutely ludicrous and suggested those who want to be humored by this to direct their objections to Geo.
“If anyone has any sort of objection regarding my presence on the panel then they should take this up with Geo who have included that on the panel. Why am I even here if I do not have command over this subject?”
She then steered the argument to drag the entire panel,
“Have Yahaya or Bhatti played test cricket as well? Why are they here? You can’t discredit your fellow colleague like this. I have been covering cricket for the past 30-32 years. Since you people have become anchors on television you have started to consider yourself God! What have you people achieved in your life, what is your worth?”
The host Fatima Saleem cut her off and requested her not to take the comments personally. However, this isn’t the first time she has had an unpleasant encounter with fellow analysts. A few days ago Sikandar Bakht had also opposed Aalia Rasheed during a post-match discussion.
Aalia shared the clip of this recent backlash on Twitter which has led to a conversation on the topic. Many were of the view that this is yet again an attempt to undermine women.
Many fellow journalists, including Zainab Abbas, Hasan Zaidi, Dr. Nauman Niazi, and Abbas Nasir also supported her stance.
I’ve captained teams in school and have watched cricket my whole life but I’ve never even played first class. I bet none of these gentlemen would ever say to me that I don’t know what I’m talking about wrt cricket. It’s misogynistic for them to say this to as experienced a…>
— Hasan Zaidi (@hyzaidi) August 15, 2020
Appalling. Even in an earlier programme Sikander Bakht was talking absolute opinionated nonsense and she called him out. He also reacted badly. I can promise you their problem is she is a woman. No other issue. Should be no room for such misogyny.
— Abbas Nasir (@abbasnasir59) August 15, 2020
Thank you Zainab! We with few years in our pocket feel we need to always prove our worth, Aalia ji with an experience of 3 decades in this field is still questioned. I hope we succeed to change this mindset.
— Sawera Pasha (@sawerapasha) August 15, 2020
Former cricketer Rashid Latif also agreed
جو کرکٹ نہیں کھیلے ہوئے ہیں وہ زیادہ اچھا تبصرہ کر سکتے ہیں اگر تو اچھی تیاری ہے تو کیونکہ کرکٹرز کرکٹ کے بعد تیاری نہیں کرتے ایسے ہی شو میں بیٹھ جاتے ہیں ، ڈاکٹر نعمان اور دوسرے ملکی اور خیر ملکی مبصر بہت اچھا کام کر رہے ہیں اور @IsbUnited ایک بہت بڑی مثال ہے ۔
— Rashid Latif ®️🇵🇰🌹 (@iRashidLatif68) August 15, 2020
Many of her Twitter followers agreed and appreciated her for her expertise.
You’re one of the brightest cricket commentator Aalia. Really really proud of you. Misogynist would be misogynist.
— Marvi Sirmed (@marvisirmed) August 15, 2020
Absolutely Brilliant! 10/10 on going full throttle.
This narrative that only ‘cricketers’ have the right to a sporting opinion is pure unadulterated garbage & props to Aalia for calling out on such BS.
Every sport is now becoming scientific & requires a metricized approach. https://t.co/0AqaPnIzcZ
— Waqas Ahmed (@ahmedwaqas992) August 15, 2020
On the other hand, some discredited all experts and called them inexperienced!
Problem is all those so called experts who have no expertise in the game yet they are invited on these shows as experts to talk about Cricket. May it be Aalia or Zainab Abbas, they should not be demeaned but they lack the expertise to comment on Cricket as experts
— RazaKhan (@SARK2013) August 15, 2020
ٹیکنکل چیزوں میں کوئی کتنا ہی تجربہ کار کیوں نہ ہو کسی کرکٹر سے اس کا کوئی مقابلہ ہو ہی نہیں سکتا۔ عالیہ صاحبہ بورڈ اور ٹیم کی سیاست پہ بات کر سکتی ہیں مگر کس کی تکنیک اچھی ہے اور کس کی نہیں یہ عالیہ صاحبہ نہیں بتا سکتی کیوں کہ دور سے دیکھنا الگ ہے اور گراؤنڈ میں کھیلنا بہت مختلف
— Muhammad Abdul Moeed Anas 🇵🇰 (@moeedma) August 15, 2020
Even though Aalia logically explained why she shouldn’t be discredited as an analyst, this has escalated to become a matter of gender stereotyping and marginalizing women. Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Cover image via Aalia Rasheed/Twitter