In the next installment in our series on our touring members, we bring you the King of Pakistan:
When did your love for Pakistan cricket begin?
Cricket has always been a prominent part of my family life. It brings all my family members together whether it’s watching cricket, playing cricket or my mother cooking food for us whilst we watch cricket. One of my earliest memories would be watching cricket with my Granddad and Uncles and we would shout in celebration every time Pakistan won.
Why are you so passionate about Pakistan cricket?
The list of reasons of why I am so passionate about Pakistan cricket is endless. Pakistan team bring so much excitement to the game that they can change the course of a game within an over. Each team member brings individual talent and collectively they can combine and become an unstoppable team. I’ve watched the Pakistani team as they have progressed from the older players such as Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis to the latest members of the team. Whether they win or lose, I have always supported them.
Coming to the more recent past, describe your outfit and why you chose this character?
I am the King of Pakistan. I chose this character as it represents my ancestry as I am a Mughal. The Mughal’s were the rulers of South Asia and were descendants of the world’s greatest conquerors Genghis Khan and the Amir. I wanted my character to reflect my history and to show that there are still strong figures that can represent Pakistan. And if the crown fits, wear it.
Which was the first Pakistan game you attended?
The first match I went to was at Edgabaston Cricket Ground Birmingham in 2010 where Pakistan was playing against Australia. I wore a green Ninja Turtle outfit to wear to the match with my uncle who was dressed up as The Incredible Hulk. It was also this match that I first saw Mr Paksitan and Pakman dressed in their costumes. I enjoyed the match and the atmosphere that was created just by me wearing a costume. People asked to take pictures with me and I met the whole Pakistani cricket team after the match.
Which was the most memorable match you have been to?
The most memorable match that I have been to was the second T20 game of Pakistan vs Australia in 2010. The atmosphere in the stadium was amazing with all the Pakistani supporters coming together and backing the team. Everyone was shouting Pakistan Zindabad and I enjoyed feeling part of a community. It was due to the atmosphere that I experienced that boosted my enthusiasm to go to more cricket matches and support the team. To top it all off I met all the Pakistani cricket players after the match and the most memorable moment was when the players were amazed to see me in my costume and greeted me with so much respect.
When did you first hear of Stani Army?
I first heard of the Stani Army when they went to Sri Lanka for the 2012 World Cup and saw them numerous times on the TV dressed in their fancy costumes and having what seemed like a blast of a time. I was then inspired to become a member of the Stani Army and with the considerable help of the Sheikh of Pakistan I became the King of Pakistan.
How many tours have you been on with Stani Army?
As I am a new member I have only recently started going to the matches with the Stani Army. The first match which I attended as part of the Stani Army was the Scotland vs Pakistan Game on Sunday 19 May 2013 where I made my debut as the King of Pakistan. All the Stani Army members came up to Scotland, my neck of the woods, and we all met up in Edinburgh. Unfortunately it started raining and the match was cancelled. However that didn’t ruin our spirits and we still managed to have an enjoyable time. We were going around the seating area and to the different stands taking pictures with the Pakistani supporters and making a lot of noise for the team. After the announcement to abandon the match, I met all the Pakistani players and they were very happy to see the King of Pakistan. I am looking forward to attending all the Pakistani ICC matches with the Stani Army. They have all been very welcoming and I feel I fit in very well amongst them.
Any messages and advice for the Pakistan fans going to the Champions Trophy?
My message to the Pakistan fans is to get behind Pakistan, be positive and show your support. Chant nice messages as much as you can. Win, lose or draw still support the team and stick together and enjoy the game. If Allah wills us to win so be it, and Allah wills us to lose then so be it as well. It will be appreciated if you show your support by dressing up as a character or the least you can do is put a Pakistan cricket t-shirt on. Remember we are nation and we are proud of our nation and of our team. I hope you will follow the Stani Army and help us support our great team. Long live Pakistan!