Pakistani Street Cricketers Bring The Sport To Greece
Image Courtesy: Reuters
Pakistani migrants currently residing in Athens, Greece gather to play cricket on Sundays. Contrary to the international version of the game, these cricketers engage in tape ball cricket – a rather informal version of the game which uses tennis balls.
In an article titled, “Pakistan’s street cricketers bring game to life in Greece”, published in Reuters, some of them expressed their opinion about the game. Cricket world cup is underway in England and Wales. Although Pakistan could not qualify for the semi-final stage, it did secure a fifth position in the tournament.
Pakistani workers in Greece are often seen watching their team play in restaurants, apartments or streaming the same on phones, Reuters quotes one such Pakistani cricket fan Awais Mughal.
“I love cricket. I’m crazy for cricket. I’m 30 years old and I’m playing for 20 years,” says Mughal. Mughal is a delivery worker who arrived in Greece a decade ago.
“In my country, whenever I go, I play all day,” Mughal said. “In Greece, we play only on Sundays because we work six days a week.”
According to Reuters, about 50,000 Pakistanis live in Greece, the embassy estimates that many of them are labourers in fields or factories. Others own shops or restaurants. Majority of such workers share apartments and pool in their resources to live together.
Greece being a football-loving country does not have much admiration for the sport in question. Reuters mentions that there is only one cricket ground in Greece which dates back to the 19th century, therefore, Pakistani migrants resort to empty parking lots and industrial areas.