This Pakistan cricket web series aims to tell a ‘different’ story

Danyal Zafar, Shahveer Jafry, Khaqaan Shahnawaz and Zarrar Khan star as cricketers in upcoming web series produced by Mahira Khan

Photos: Provided

By Mahwash Ajaz

Published: Sat, March 5, 2022, 10:08 AM

Last update: Sat, March 5, 2022, 10:25 AM

The trailer was fierce. Ambitious, youthful and intense, the chemistry between the young boys of the next web series Barwan Khiladi promises to deliver a slice of life, coming-of-age story to audiences. Directed by Adnan Sarwar (Motorcycle girl, Shah) and produced by Mahira Khan (Aik Hai Nigar) and Nina Kashif, the web series is the debut of musical artist Danyal Zafar. Where is it? The pandemic has delayed the release of Barwan Khiladi and Danyal Zafar had already made his television debut. A veteran digital influencer, Shahveer Jafry had also appeared in a music video and is no stranger to creating content for OTT platforms.

The cast interview was done a few hours before the web series hit Tapmad, the platform where it airs, so naturally the first question was about nerves. Danyal Zafar compared his nerves to how he felt before performing on stage. Being a regular musical artist, “It’s like when you’re backstage and you’re about to step in. That’s what I feel.

“It’s a different kind of project,” weighed Shahveer Jafry, “out of the lot you usually see coming from Pakistani platforms. We’re very excited to see how people are receiving it and we’re probably as nervous as the producers right now. We hope for the best.

Danyal plays “Akbar”, a young boy from the slums of Lahore who is selected to be the “12th man” (title translation) when a rich young man (Shahveer) refuses to play. The show also stars Kinza Hashmi, Sarmad Khoosat and Saba Faisal.

Shaveer Jafry and Khaqaan Shahnawaz talked about how different it was to work on Barwaan Khiladi compared to producing their own content for digital media. “If Shahveer and I put something together, we can always pull it back,” Khaqaan said. “We can always change the method next time. Also, we take about seven days (that’s the maximum time you would use for a video for Instagram or YouTube) to shoot stuff for our platforms. But for that, we shot for forty days and then it went through a process of editing and sound scoring, a lot of work went into that project.

“Because of the cooking time, we are sure of what we have done,” said Zarrar Khan. “We are really excited.”

Are there any future acting projects for Danyal Zafar? “I express myself a lot through my music, so the next project I want to take on as an actor, I really hope gives me as much room to express myself.”

Shahveer wants to be an actress and it’s one hundred percent on the cards for her. “I want to do something out of the norm. I’m not saying what you see on TV isn’t good, but my choice would be something different and challenging and something I really enjoy.