Islamabad: On Wednesday, the 4th of May, Zeb Bangash took centre stage at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium to kick off the Fairbreak Invitational 2022 with a spectacular musical ode to women’s cricket. Zeb’s two-song set began with the glorious ‘Sinf-e-Ahan’. It concluded with a specially curated, multilingual rendition of Dusty Springfield’s famous ‘You Don’t Own Me’, in collaboration with Benjamin Lazer Davis and Syed Misbahuddin.
Zeb Bangash performance at Fair Break Global 2022 ceremony in Dubai
Clad in a bespoke cobalt blue suit designed by AasiaSial Khan, Zeb was bejewelled in a bespoke neck-piece and matching earrings strung together by Amber Sami exclusively for the event. The hand-crafted necklace featured the glorious ‘chaandtaara’ in varying scales and colours, representing the diversity of the multiple countries that have come together for the tournament.
Dubai-based Pakistani stylist Aana Khan did Zeb’s hair, make-up and styling.
This year, a rich and diverse mix of 90 international players from 35 countries have been invited to be part of Fairbreak’s T-20 tournament to be played in Dubai between the 1st to the 15th of May. This is the first-ever global private tournament in the history of women’s cricket.
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The event is being held to promote global gender equality, and is an ICC-approved T20 league that will see six teams competing. 19 matches will be held in the fortnight-long tournament that will feature cricketers from both Full-Member and Associate Nations. All games will be given international status.
This edition of Fairbreak’s pioneering platform showcases the talents of 5 Pakistani cricketers and a former coach of the Pakistan national squad. ICC’s Emerging Cricketer of the Year for 2021, Fatima Sana, represents The Barmy Army. The former skipper turned commentator, Sana Mir, captains the South Coast Sapphires, a side that Pakistan’s own Mohtasim Rasheed will coach. Captain of the Pakistan Women’s Cricket Team, Bisma Maroof, is leading Team Spirit. Aliya Riaz and Diana Baig are part of The Tornadoes playing 11.
After her performance, Zeb spoke a few heartfelt words at the stadium to mark the occasion: “Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me immense pride to join you to celebrate this historic moment in sporting history, paying ode to women’s cricket and the glory of the game.
My passion for women’s cricket began pursuing and supporting the journey of our very own girls in green, who I chanced upon meeting at a luggage carousel at an airport. Sana, Bisma, Diana, Aliya and Sana Fatima, today you do me very proud championing the spirit of the game by joining the some of the world’s best to bring to us what is nothing short of a celebration of women’s cricket and all that it has achieved today and the immeasurable potential it has to grow into something bigger and better with each passing day.
Ladies, today, I dedicate to you a poem in my native Urdu celebrating you and women everywhere. Each of you, ‘Women of Steel’, inspire me and countless others with your passion and commitment. May there never be any looking back – onward and upward.”
ZebunnisaBangash, also known as ZebBangash, is a renowned Pakistani singer and songwriter. The talented singer has appeared in three seasons of coke studio since 2008. Since then, Zeb has performed several popular songs across borders, including her solo song ‘Ajnabi’ in the Bollywood film Madras Café and ‘SoohaSaha’ in Highway. She has also released her solo albums.