It is well known that cricket, and more so, broadcasting, is a male dominated sphere. It is tough to first get in and then make a name for yourself as a male individual, let alone for a woman. But Zainab Abbas has come up rapidly and is now synonymous with pre-match shows and analysis in Pakistan cricket.
It was a gradual progress for Abbas, who was doing her masters in marketing before hosting a sports show on a local channel in Pakistan. That got her recognition, enough for her to get a chance to work in the Pakistan Super League. The ‘new face’ was seen hosting the pre-match shows for PSL in 2015. From there, she went on to tour as a reporter for matches which Pakistan played. She ended pretty much becoming the face of Pakistan cricket and there has been no turning back since.
Abbas’ father, Nasir Abbas, played domestic cricket in Pakistan while her mother, Andleeb Abbas, is a member of National Assembly of Pakistan. So growing up, did she have two career options?
“Well I have absolutely no interest in politics, if I’m brutally honest,” she says with a laugh. She was offered to do political shows but Abbas declined it, choosing to go with sports instead. Her work ethics and sincerity enabled her get appreciation and holding in the industry, which isn’t really kind to anyone. She was then chosen by ICC to be a part of its broadcasting media for the coverage of the ICC (Men’s) Cricket World Cup, 2019.
In part 1 of this episode of the Clean Bowled Podcast, Abbas talks about how she began as a presenter, some of the challenges she faced working in a male-dominated space and more.
You can listen to other episodes of the Clean Bowled Podcast here.