IN THIS POST:
– National Stadium, Karachi
– Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
– Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi
– Multan Cricket Stadium, Multan
– Arbab Niaz Stadium, Peshawar
– Bugti Stadium, Quetta
– Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad
– Jinnah Stadium, Sialkot
– Niaz Stadium, Hyderabad
– Jinnah Stadium, Gujranwala
2021 is kicking off with a bang with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) hosting all of the matches for Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021 in Pakistan. As such, this is just about the best time to present an overview of some of the best cricket stadiums in Pakistan.
Top Cricket Grounds in Pakistan
From the National Stadium in Karachi and the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore to the Jinnah Stadiums in Sialkot and Gujranwala, we’ll share a complete list of the best cricket stadiums in Pakistan below. We’ll also discuss some stats and history of each of these cricket grounds along with their seating capacity.
1. National Stadium—Karachi
Built in 1955 and located on National Stadium Road, the National Stadium became the largest cricket stadium in Pakistan after renovations were made to Gaddafi Stadium, which reduced its seating capacity. As of now, being among the best cricket stadiums in Pakistan, the National Stadium can hold about 34,000 spectators. It is also the home ground of the PSL team Karachi Kings. It was once considered as the ‘Fortress of Pakistani cricket’ as Pakistan emerged victorious in most Test matches played on this ground.
The pitch here offers an advantage to fast bowlers in Test matches, but it remains batting-friendly for ODIs (One-Day Internationals). While the National Stadium has seen several international matches being played since its construction, the matches played here during the 1987 and 1996 World Cup are of note. The stadium was also the host for the finale as well as several other matches of PSL in 2019. As for PSL 5, nine matches were played at this stadium, along with the opening ceremony of PSL 2020.
For more information about this place, read our detailed blog on National Stadium, Karachi.
2. Gaddafi Stadium—Lahore
Having the capacity to accommodate 27,000 cricket fans, the Gaddafi Stadium was constructed in 1959 in Gulberg, Lahore. It was originally named Lahore Stadium. The change in name occurred in 1974 after the former Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi gave a speech at the venue during the 2nd Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC). The stadium is also the home of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). The country’s main training academy for cricket is also located here. It is the home ground of the PSL team Lahore Qalandars.
Among the most famous cricket stadiums in Pakistan, the Gaddafi Stadium has been a host for matches played in the 1987 and 1996 World Cups. The final match for PSL 2 in March 2017 was also held in this very stadium. The pitch here is mostly batting-friendly. The stadium was also the first in Pakistan to be equipped with modern floodlights that had their own backup generator for power. Its renovation in the 1990s has also given it a unique look under the guidance of the architect Nayyar Ali Dada and it now resembles structures from the Mughal era due to its red brick appearance.
Gaddafi Stadium also hosted the most number of matches for PSL 2020, with 14 of the matches being played here, including the Semi-Finals and the Final match.
Want to know more about this venue? Read our overview of Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.
3. Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium—Rawalpindi
Serving the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium was constructed in 1992 on Stadium Road that leads to Sector I-9, Islamabad. With its recent renovation, it now has space for 28,000 spectators. It is the home ground of the PSL team Islamabad United and is just 5 kilometres outside the capital city of Islamabad.
The Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium was a fairly busy venue during the 1996 World Cup due to its favourable pitch but several Test matches have also been played here. The stadium is set to host 8 matches for PSL 6.
4. Multan Cricket Stadium—Multan
Inaugurated in 2001 to replace the Ibn-e-Qasim Bagh Stadium, Multan Cricket Stadium is located in the suburbs of the city. Having a seating capacity of 35,000, it is also the home ground of the PSL team Multan Sultans.
The Multan Cricket Stadium hosts Test matches as well as ODIs, with the pitch favouring seam bowlers. Floodlights installed within the stadium enable it to host both day and night matches with ease. The stadium hosted 4 PSL 2020 matches of the home team.
Find out more information in our blog “All There is to Know about Multan Cricket Stadium.”
5. Arbab Niaz Stadium—Peshawar
Home ground of the PSL team Peshawar Zalmi, the Arbab Niaz Stadium was built in the early 1980s. Around 20,000 cricket fans can come to watch their favourite teams at play here. It was originally named as Shahi Bagh Stadium due to its close proximity to Shahi Bagh, which is a Mughal-era park in Peshawar.
The Arbab Niaz Stadium has mostly been used for ODIs rather than Test cricket after its construction and its pitches are ideal for spinners.
6. Bugti Stadium—Quetta
Originally known as Racecourse Ground until 1989, the Bugti Stadium is home ground of the PSL team Quetta Gladiators. Records place its establishment to the year 1954 when the first match was played here. The stadium currently has seating of fewer than 10,000 spectators.
The stadium has been host to ODIs in the past and its pitch performs well for batsmen.
7. Iqbal Stadium—Faisalabad
Originally named as Lyallpur Stadium, the Iqbal Stadium was built in the city of Faisalabad in the 1970s with a seating capacity of 18,000. The current name honours the Pakistani Poet Allama Muhammad Iqbal. The stadium is built just a few kilometres from the city centre and is easily accessible to the residents by walk.
History shows that the Iqbal Stadium has flat pitches which are perfect for batsmen to get some runs and good shots. Several Test matches and ODIs have been played here with the most notable being the 1st quarter-final match of the 1996 World Cup.
8. Jinnah Stadium—Sialkot
With seating of 18,000, the Jinnah Stadium in Sialkot was built by the British in the 1920s. Its original name was Connelly Park. After being renamed as Jinnah Park in the 1950s, the name was further modified to its current one in 1979. It is among the country’s oldest stadiums, while also bring one of the best cricket stadiums in Pakistan.
Both Tests, as well as ODIs, have been played here. The green-top pitches of Sialkot’s Jinnah Stadium are known for aiding fast bowlers.
9. Niaz Stadium—Hyderabad
Built in 1959 in Qasimabad, the Niaz Stadium has space for 15,000 cricket fans and was named after a cricket loving resident of Hyderabad.
While the stadium has been host to ODIs as well as Test matches in the past, it is most famous for the first-ever hat trick in ODIs for Pakistan by swing bowler Jalaluddin. The pitch here is batting-friendly though.
10. Jinnah Stadium—Gujranwala
The Jinnah Stadium in Gujranwala was built in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with records showing that the first ever Test match was held here in 1991. The stadium has a capacity of around 20,000 cricket fans. It was constructed by the former mayor of the city, Alhaj Muhammad Aslam Butt.
The stadium is located on Sialkot Road which connects it to Jinnah Road and a number of other major roads in the city. A number of ODIs have been played here, including one match from the 1987 Cricket World Cup. The pitch here is mostly batting-friendly.
This ends our list of the 10 best cricket stadiums in Pakistan. While you might not have heard of many of them, you soon will, because the PCB has declared that it will continue to renovate several of them for PSL matches in the following years. The stadiums most likely to get an upgrade for the future are Niaz Stadium in Hyderabad and the Arbab Niaz Stadium in Peshawar.
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