Pakistan team had just walked off the turf after beating Bhutan 4-1. Fans were pouring in around the field to meet the rising stars of the nation. They clustered around each member of the National Team asking for photos and autographs and the girls were happy to oblige as they were in a celebratory mood themselves. Looking for a photo op I went in search of the Captain of the squad who I found sitting on the bench, unruffled, composed and serene, like she was collecting her thoughts.
Hajra Khan was born on 29 December 1993. Growing up, Hajra was a multi-sport athlete and even represented Pakistan internationally in other sports. She exudes raw talent, electrifying passion, which seems to flow through her like current. Her quick pace, swift thinking and ability to provide assists is hard to ignore. Athletes of her calibre are not easy to find, she is gifted with an innate understanding of sports which aids her ability rise to the challenge of her rivals.
Name: Hajra Khan Height: 5 ft 7.5” Position: Striker Club: Balochistan United National team: Pakistan National Team
Name: Hajra Khan
Height: 5 ft 7.5”
Club: Balochistan United
National team: Pakistan National Team
Starting her football journey at the age of 14, it took her only two years to move up the ranks from provincial to club to national team. She has not only been able to compete in international sporting events as the captain of Pakistan national team, she is also the highest goal scorer for the current national champions Balochistan United as well as the only Pakistani female so far to have been signed by an international club. Currently Hajra’s club Balochistan United is working toward making the club a “dream team for Pakistani football”. Khan says that her journey in sports was made easier due to the continuing support of her friends and family.
Khan comes across as down to earth, quiet and well-rounded individual. When she’s not training she indulges in all the regular activities of her peers. A typical 20 year old who “studies, hangs out with friends, watches TV and plays with pets.” Her favourite sports movie is Goal and she follows TV shows Suits and Arrow when she has time. If Khan wasn’t a footballer she says she’d be a photographer.
Being a football fan herself, she was supporting Germany to bring home the cup. Despite her allegiance to the German side she admits that “Robin Van Persie’s header goal was superb” and the highlight of the recent world cup. When asked about the ban on Suarez, she was of the opinion that he shouldn’t be allowed to play anymore and be “kept on a dining table”
Khan’s rise to fame and ultimate signing with a club in Maldives will prove beneficial for other girls wanting to improve their skills. Khan says that she hopes that it “opens more doors for other girls in a bigger market” Hajra is not only a great teammate but a role model for girls everywhere. Former Captain of the Women’s national team Sana Mahmud has high praise for Hajra and says:
“she deserves everything she has- the honor to play internationally, becoming captain, winning best player, winning the title – everything. She worked too hard for too long and she deserves every bit of it. I can see her doing even greater things. She’s always been a great teammate and I just wish I was back home and part of the team to experience her in all her glory”
Khan sees her long term future as being part of a European club, and maybe even a coach. But for now, the National team needs Hajra Khan to provide the skill and inspiration to move our National Squad to a better international ranking.
Can we compare Khan to Celia Sasic or Alex Morgan? Maybe not just yet, but given the same opportunities as them, Khan can become as good if not better than her international counterparts. She certainly has the talent and the ambition for it.