Sports pitch for level playing field in cricket-mad Pakistan

  • Field hockey players of a local club attend a training session, in Karachi, Pakistan, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022. There is only one sport that matters in Pakistan and that's cricket, a massive money-making machine. But minors sports like rugby are struggling to get off the ground due to lack of investment and interest, stunting their growth at home and chances of success overseas. Even previously popular sports like squash and field hockey, which Pakistan dominated for decades, can't find their form.(AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

ISLAMABAD — On Islamabad’s outskirts, burly men bind together in a scrum on a rugby pitch that has seen better days. The sign bearing the club’s name is worn. The floodlights are too costly to use, given high electricity prices and the paltry $135 total that the club earns in membership fees every month.