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Monday, June 24 2019 @ 11:44 pm ACST

IC14 Preview: Shaheens set to soar

International Cup 2014

Although teams at the International Cup traditionally are representing the football competition in their country the Shaheens are a team of players that have formed in Australia, competing in local footy in Melbourne.  Shaheens players are eligible to play at the International Cup as they are "amateurs who are nationals of the country they represent (Pakistan) and all players must have lived the majority of the years aged between 10 and 16 as a citizen of their nation." 

While we have seen teams with locally based player before this is the first time a whole team has been locally based and all learned the game in Australia. Hopefully their participation will ultimately lead to footy's growth in Pakistan.

Pakistan: The Country
Pakistan is situated in the western part of the Indian subcontinent, with Afghanistan and Iran on the west, India on the east, and the Arabian Sea on the south. The name Pakistan is derived from the Urdu words Pak (meaning pure) and stan (meaning country). It is nearly twice the size of California.

The Capital (2009 est.) is Islamabad, 832,000 pop., although not the largest city in Pakistan. The Population of Pakistan is estimated to be 193,238,868 (2013).

The northern and western highlands of Pakistan contain the towering Karakoram and Pamir mountain ranges, which include some of the world's highest peaks: K2 (28,250 ft; 8,611 m) and Nanga Parbat (26,660 ft; 8,126 m). The Baluchistan Plateau lies to the west, and the Thar Desert and an expanse of alluvial plains, the Punjab and Sind, lie to the east. The 1,000-mile-long (1,609 km) Indus River and its tributaries flow through the country from the Kashmir region to the Arabian Sea.

Pakistan was one of the two original successor states to British India, which was partitioned along religious lines in 1947. For almost 25 years following independence, it consisted of two separate regions, East and West Pakistan, but now it is made up only of the western sector, the eastern sector now Bangladesh.

What is now Pakistan was in prehistoric times the Indus Valley civilization (c. 2500–1700 BC ). A series of invaders—Aryans, Persians, Greeks, Arabs, Turks, and others—controlled the region for the next several thousand years. Islam, the principal religion, was introduced in 711. In 1526, the land became part of the Mogul Empire, which ruled most of the Indian subcontinent from the 16th to the mid-18th century. By 1857, the British became the dominant power in the region.

Britain agreed to the formation of Pakistan as a separate dominion within the Commonwealth in Aug. 1947. The partition of Pakistan and India along religious lines resulted in the largest migration in human history, with 17 million people fleeing across the borders in both directions to escape the accompanying sectarian violence.

Pakistan and Australian Football
Australian Rules football was first played in Pakistan in 2006, starting with the creation of the Australian Rules Football Federation of Pakistan, based in the Swat Valley city of Mingora. In 2007, the ARFFP renamed themselves AFL Pakistan, aligning themselves with other football bodies worldwide. Because of the current instability and unrest in that part of Pakistan, it is not known if this organisation still exists.

In 2013 a group in Islamabad (Islamabad Dashers) form team and join AFL Asia. Simultaneously a group in Australia attempt to form club with intention of joining with League in Pakistan to contest IC14.  Melbourne Shaheens* play in Cadbury 9’s (touch only comp) and win first match. Have recruited about 18 players by end of 2013.

The Pakistan Markhors (previously Islamabad Dashers) debuted at the 2014 ANZAC Commemorative Match in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, which is hosted by the Thailand Tigers.

The Pakistan Shaheens is the first-ever footy team that will represent Pakistan in the AFL International Cup 2014. The Shaheens are the brainchild of the  Shaheens Sporting and Social Organisation,

Head Coach Richard Kerbatieh
Assistant Coaches Wassim Rafihi  - Andrew Clarke – James Sutherland

 Shaheens Squad

  1 Kashif Bouns – Half Back Flank
  2 Ahmed Jahangir
  4 Atta Khan – Back Pocket
  8 Bilal Khan - Wing
  10 Zaheer Hussain – Ruck Rover
  12 Usama Khan – Ruck Rover
  13 Hamid Mashwani – Forward Pocket
  15 Faraz Khan – Full Forward/Centre Half Forward
  16 Iran Akhteyari – Center/Wing
  23 Arshad Syed
  23 Humza Ali – Centre/Wing
  24 Jaffar Medhi – Full Back
  32 Rana Saqib – Forward Pocket
  34 Kashif Khan – Full Back
  36 Farrukh Salah Uddin – Wing
  37 Usman Malik – Forward Pocket
  44 Saad Hashmi – Forward Pocket
  45 Yawar Rajani – Half Forward Flank
  46 Zaid Shah – Wing
  47 Ali Raza Abbas
  47 Haseeb Qureshi

Shaheens at the IC

Pakistan play South Africa, Japan and India in the first rounds of IC14, the experience of the Lions and Samurai will probably prevail over the debuting Shaheens, but they could possibly spring a surprise when meeting the Tigers, as most of the squad has been playing and training in Australia for over 12 months.

*Shaheen - Persian word for Falcon


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