Looking for information on the best cricket stadiums in Pakistan? Being one of the most popular stadiums in the country, Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, is the home ground of the national cricket team of Pakistan as well as being the headquarters of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Let’s learn a bit more about the history and location of Gaddafi Stadium before we cover some of the game statistics and data from previous years.
History of Gaddafi Stadium
This cricket stadium in Lahore was designed by the renowned Russian-born Pakistani engineer and architect, Nasreddin Murat-Khan, who is more popularly known as the designer behind the national monument, the Minar-e-Pakistan, located in Iqbal Park, in Lahore. The stadium was then constructed by Mian Abdul Khaliq and Company in 1959 and was originally named Lahore Stadium.
However, in 1974, the former Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi gave a momentous speech at the venue during the 2nd Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), after which, the stadium was officially named in his honour as Gaddafi Stadium. Qazzafi Stadium and Qaddafi Stadium are two of the spelling variants that are also used to refer to this historic playground.
The stadium has been renovated several times over the years, but the biggest changes were made before it hosted the 1996 Cricket World Cup matches for both national and international players. Famous architect Nayyar Ali Dada was commissioned to perform the renovations and he took inspiration from Mughal architecture for its stunning red-brick design. Floodlights were also added to the stadium with their own power backup generator during this time, making this the first stadium in Pakistan to be equipped with floodlights for night matches.
At present, the Gaddafi Stadium can seat around 27,000 fans in its stands as they watch a sensational game of cricket on the batting-friendly pitch. It also boasts plastic seating in comparison to the traditional concrete benches found in most stadiums. The lower portion of the stands under the seats has also been converted into shops selling edibles and souvenirs.
Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, has hosted countless matches since its inception. The first-ever test match took place in 1959, while the Australian cricket team was touring Pakistan. The first One Day International (ODI) was played on this pitch in 1978 against England, while the first-ever T-20 match was hosted in 2015 against Zimbabwe. However, the most famous matches are the ones played during the 1987 and the 1996 Cricket World Cup tournaments. The stadium is also the home ground for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) team, Lahore Qalandars, and hosts a number of matches for the series every year. In 2020, it was the venue for 14 of the total matches, including the PSL Final.
How to Get to Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore?
Located in Gulberg, Lahore, Gaddafi Stadium is fairly hard to miss with its red brick boundary walls and its prime location in Gulberg 3 where there is a collection of sports academies and stadiums for cricket, football, hockey, tennis, and many other sports. To pinpoint the exact location of Gaddafi Stadium, it is built on Hafeez Kardar Road, which is easily accessible via Ferozepur Road that is the hub of public transportation in Lahore.
The National Hockey Stadium and Punjab Athletics Stadium are located directly opposite to Gaddafi Stadium, while the Punjab International Swimming Complex, Quaid e Azam International Cycling Velodrome, Punjab Institute of Language, Art & Culture, Alhamra Open Air Theatre, Nishtar Park Sports Complex, and the National Cricket Academy are some of the prominent landmarks surrounding the stadium.
Here are some of the most common questions asked by fans about the Gaddafi Stadium:
– Where is Gaddafi Stadium?
It is located in Gulberg, Lahore, within walking distance of Ferozepur Road.
– What is the seating capacity of Gaddafi Stadium?
The stadium can accommodate around 27,000 spectators since the last renovation.
– Is Gaddafi Stadium the largest cricket stadium in Pakistan?
While it is the most popular cricket stadium in Pakistan, Gaddafi Stadium is not the largest anymore. Following renovations that modified its seating area, the capacity of the stadium has been reduced from 60,000 to 27,000 fans. The honour of being the largest cricket stadium in Pakistan is now bestowed upon National Stadium in Karachi, which can accommodate 34,000 cricket fans at a time.
– How Can I Book Tickets for a Match in Gaddafi Stadium?
The stadium does not have any matches or tournaments scheduled at present. However, you can follow PCB’s social media pages where they will keep you informed of upcoming matches and their ticketing partners.
Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, has witnessed its share of memorable occasions in sporting history, including hat-tricks, a 281-run stand on the 5th wicket between Asif Iqbal and Javed Miandad, and many more. Keep an eye out for upcoming matches to see the game live from the stands and watch history in the making.
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*[Cover Image Credits: Facebook/C R I C K E T]