Barwaan khiladi, produced by Mahirah Khan and Nina Kashif, premiered on tapmad on the 5th of March, 2022. The series is directed by Adnan Sarwar and stars Shahveer Jafry, Danyal Zafar, Sarmad Khoosat, Zarrar Khan, Khaqan Shahnawz, Mira Sethi, Fawad Khan and Kinza Hashmi.
On the surface, it is a story about a small town boy making it big. But once you get past that, you see how this is a story about so much more than that. It is a story about friendship, love, rivalry, passion and loyalty. In the first episode we are introduced to Akbar, played by Danyal Zafar from Hajiabad. Akbar is a typical boy-next-door, who is something of a legend at “galli cricket” and head over heels in love with the starry eyed Aalia, played by Kinza Hashmi. In the same episode we are also introduced to Jehangir, played by Shahveer Jafry. Jehangir, albeit talented, makes it to the Shaheen Eleven by having his influential father make a call to the coach. Here’s where we see two young boys, both equally passionate about a sport that they are good at as well enter the same team through two entirely opposing pathways; nepotism and merit. This is also where the show starts bringing this binary into the narrative. These boys differ in their class backgrounds as well as in the choices they make. It is through their perspective that we delve deep into the malice-laden world of club cricket. We see it all; the good, the bad and the ugly (mostly ugly).
Most of the show after the first episode deals with Akbar trying to make his way into the playing eleven. Jehangir and his posse of spoilt and entitled boys don’t exactly make it very easy for Akbar to be anything other than the in-waiting 12th man who never gets a chance to play except rarely. We see Jehangir bullying Akbar from the very start. From making him fetch water on the field to provoking him into fist fights, we see it all. What isn’t really clear is why Jehangir is so hostile towards Akbar.