It goes without saying that Pakistan is full of potential when it comes to sports and 2022 was yet another year which unearthed many stars of the future.
As 2022 draws to a close, it is the ideal time to look at some of the best performers for Pakistan in sports throughout the year.
Mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed took international cricket by storm in his debut Test match against England in Multan earlier this month.
The 24-year-old registered the best match figures, 11-234, for a Pakistani spinner on Test debut and the second-best overall after Mohammad Zahid — who bagged 11-130 against New Zealand in 1996.
Ahmed, who is nicknamed “Harry Potter” by his friends, produced magic of his own to stun the England batters.
Ahmed ended up picking 17 wickets in his debut series, where he featured in two matches against England, to make a flying start to his career.
Pakistani cueist Ahsan Ramzan became the youngest, 16, IBSF world snooker champion after beating Iran’s Amir Sarkosh in the final in Doha in March 2022.
The Lahore-born, who has been playing snooker since 2017 at a very young age, bagged the trophy on his debut international event.
Even Pakistan’s veteran cueists, such as the likes of Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Sajjad, have also struggled against the teenager in the recent past which shows Ramzan’s impressive skillset.
However, Ramzan, who lives in a room inside the club where he trains in Lahore, will need support of sponsors if wants to fulfil his desire of playing on the professional circuit.
Sprinter Shajar Abbas is currently the fastest man in Pakistan after a record-breaking year on the track.
He became the first Pakistani sprinter ever to qualify for the final of the men’s 200m competition in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Abbas also created a new national record by clocking 10.25 seconds during the 100m heat of the Islamic Solidarity Games in Konya, Turkey, which was better than his previous best of 10.38 at the Commonwealth Games 2022.
In 2022, he also won a gold medal during the 100m race in Qosanov Memorial Athletics Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan. He also bagged a gold in the 200m race of the Imam Reza Athletics Championship in Iran during the same year.
With proper backing from government and the corporate sector, Abbas has the ability to more win laurels for Pakistan at the international level.
Footballer Nadia Khan impressed one and all with her speed, dribbling and finishing as Pakistan women’s team returned to international action for the first time in eight years.
The 21-year-old scored four goals against Maldives in the SAFF Women’s Championship, earlier this year. This was the first time that a Pakistani footballer scored four goals in an international match.
Nadia started her football career at the Leeds United regional talent centre and currently plays for the Doncaster Rovers Belles, which is in the fourth tier of England women’s football.
If Pakistan continues to play regularly at the international level, Nadia is likely to lead the way with here lethal finishing in front of goal.
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) might not get the attention it deserves in Pakistan but the local athletes are gradually making a name for themselves in the sport. One such name in this regard is Karachi’s Eman ‘Falcon’ Khan.
Eman won a bronze medal in the Flyweight 56.7kg category in the prestigious IMMAF Asian Championships in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, during October 2022.
She also backed that up with a women’s flyweight championship win at the National Fighting Tournament in December.
Under the tutelage of K7 Academy’s Rizwan Khan Orakzai, Eman has developed an impressive combination of kicks and punches which makes her a tough opponent inside the cage.
Originally published in