A night game also known as ‘nighter’ is usually played completely or partially after the sunsets. Since the streets are usually lit with dim streetlights, flooding lights are often used instead. Night game typically refers to games played outdoors. Games such as football, basketball and especially cricket are played in nearly every street in Karachi. In months like Ramadan, playing cricket is just another part of one’s routine for the rest of the month. Same is true for Sundays, whichever street you go, you’ll find teen to adult boys frolicking. Whichever park you go to, you’ll find people playing football like it’s the last thing to do in their life! When these games are played, not only do the players get excited but also the people watching the matches from up their balcony. Many people, mostly men and children, sit around to gather them. Everybody involved in playing or watching, can feel the zest and enthusiasm in the atmosphere. Street cricket also referred to as “galli cricket” is almost like a part of the human body that is a very essential part of one’s growing age, specifically in the cities like Karachi, Lahore, and Rawalpindi where it is most famous.
After a couple of years , playing sports became a more ordered occasion. The atmosphere would be such that the boys would start to expand the parameters, spectators used to come and enjoy the game by just watching it. These games became more competitive and famous with each passing day and became even more popular than the national sports hockey. Money got involved, entry fees were introduced and the money was collected by the team members and all the expenses were excluded from the amount. The winner would get all the money and a trophy as a gift.
No one born and raised in Pakistan would deny the fact that they played cricket in streets and on paved roads at least once in their lives. Rules are usually strict and akin, a ball hitting the house’s window is considered out. Also for example in cricket, catching the ball with one hand even after hitting the surrounding is considered out.
Cricket especially has never been just a game for Pakistanis especially karachiites. It’s like Pakistan, passion and cricket have always been synonyms. It allows the under-privileged to follow their dreams without the need of a costly playground which requires a lot of membership fees and maintenance fees and what not. It literally paves the way for them which in the current situation is, needless to say, impossible. These Pakistani streets are flooded with gems waiting for recognition by the world. With a little more recognition and work done on these ems, the world will eye-witness the raw talent that Pakistan possesses.
As mentioned earlier this is a routine-based activity mainly in the month of Ramadan and apart from that, on Sundays. The residents of that street would make arrangements for refreshments such as “the OG rooh-e-afza” almost like the national drink of Pakistan!. And after the hot-blooded match is over, people would usually head for sehris with friends and have a quality time. Oftentimes the winning team is asked for a treat if they have those terms amongst them.
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