UPDATE (Feb. 19, 2021): The first-ever cricket match is being played in Gwadar Cricket Stadium on Feb. 19, 2021.
It is an exhibition match reportedly organised by singer-songwriter/actor/ anchor Fakhr-e-Alam, just weeks after his praise for Gwadar Cricket Stadium took the internet by storm.
The cricket event, called ‘SooperHai Pakistan Cup,’ comprises two teams Showbiz Sharks Vs Gwadar Dolphins. Gwadar Dolphins includes personalities like Zulfi Bukhari, Ali Zaidi and GOC Gwadar. Showbiz Sharks is being led by Waseem Khan CEO PCB and the team includes celebrities like Fakhr-e-Alam, Aijaz Aslam, Faysal Qureishi, Saleem Sheikh, Shezad Roy, Sami Khan, Kamran Jeelani, Salman Saeed, Noman Habib and Ali Safina.
Last year, Pakistan unlocked yet another architectural achievement by building a state-of-the-art cricket stadium in the port city of Gwadar. However, the news of its existence suddenly took Twitter by storm after a tweet by Fakhr-e-Alam, a popular TV personality. He shared pictures of the Gwadar cricket stadium, introducing it to the world as the “most beautiful cricket ground” he had ever seen.
One of the areas where the provincial government of Balochistan has concentrated its efforts is the building of sports complexes across the province. The cricket stadium in Gwadar is a result of those efforts. Development work on 33 other sports-related projects has already been initiated. Upon completion, these places will help encourage and facilitate Balochistan’s youth to engage in sports and healthy activities.
New Gwadar Cricket Stadium
Located against the breathtaking backdrop of jagged mountains, the beautiful Gwadar cricket stadium was inaugurated on November 14, 2020, by Chief Minister of Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan. The stadium, known as Senator Muhammad Ishaq Baloch Cricket Stadium Gwadar, is the outcome of joint efforts of the provincial government and Pakistan Army as reported by a popular newsgroup.
Over the past decade, Pakistan has made tireless efforts to revive international cricket and has been successful in this regard. Many international teams have been hosted at almost all of Pakistan’s best cricket stadiums since 2015. The addition of Gwadar’s cricket stadium to the list is indeed an indicator of progress as far the revival of cricket in Pakistan is concerned.
It was a proud moment for the entire nation as the International Cricket Council (ICC) tweeted praise for the venue of the new stadium, openly challenging its followers to show “a more picturesque sports venue.”
Former Pakistani batsman and Head Coach of Balochistan Faisal Iqbal retweeted Fakhr-e-Alam’s video shot from atop a mountain, appreciating the stadium and saying he will do his best to find new talent to play the sport. Fakhr-e-Alam also invited international players to visit Pakistan and play cricket on its soil.
About Cricket Stadiums In Pakistan
Now that we’ve discussed the significance of Gwadar Cricket Stadium, let’s take a look at other sports venues in Pakistan.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is the governing body for cricket in the country. Cricket is arguably the only sport in Pakistan that’s enjoyed by people of all ages, from all walks of life. Even though hockey is the national sport of Pakistan, cricket is what is passionately, and sometimes aggressively, followed in the country; one of the many proofs of this statement is street cricket, which is played in almost every neighbourhood of the country.
Among all the cricket stadiums in Pakistan, National Stadium in Karachi and Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore have had the honor of hosting matches played during the 1987 and 1996 World Cup tournament. The pitch of Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium served ICC’s 1996 World Cup well. Other cricket stadiums in Pakistan are:
- Multan Cricket Stadium
- Arbab Niaz Stadium, Peshawar
- Bugti Stadium, Quetta
- Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad
- Jinnah Stadium, Sialkot
- Niaz Stadium, Hyderabad
- Jinnah Stadium, Gujranwala
About Gwadar City
Gwadar, due to its geographic location, enjoys all the advantages of a port city—one of the main reasons the city is attracting local as well as foreign investment. The warm water seaport in Gwadar will provide a trade route to different countries which will improve the economic stability of the country. Apart from becoming a future international trade hub, real estate investors have also been eyeing the city for lucrative opportunities.
The port city will have modern infrastructure, roads and all the features and facilities of a metropolis. Builders and developers have already shown their interest to develop urban towns within the city. The Government of Balochistan also revealed the Gwadar Master Plan 2050 in 2019. According to this plan, commercial and residential real estate have been marked separately and under the ‘Green City’ project, there will also be dedicated spaces for green belts across the city.
Some of the major under-construction projects in the city include:
- Development of Gwadar smart city based on modern designs
- Restoring the Omani era sports venues
- 6-km long sewerage line expected to complete shortly
- Budget allocated for the development of road infrastructure
- Construction of East-Bay Expressway that will ensure smooth traffic flow on the main artery of Gwadar port
- Modern monument at Mala Fazal Chowk to be constructed to attract tourists
- Construction of Gwadar International Airport
- Upgradation of China-Pakistan Friendship Hospital
- Construction of Pak-China Technical and Vocational Institute
As far as investment opportunities are concerned, Canadian City Gwadar and Marine Drive Gwadar are two major projects you can consider investing in. You can also check out our coverage of Naval Anchorage and Gwadar Golf City or you can also check Zameen’s listings page to buy property in Gwadar.
Cover/FB image credit: Official Twitter account of the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis & HRD