It’s not an understatement to say that cricket has become a staple of Pakistani culture. Both national and international cricket tournaments are avidly watched across the nation, and no other sport comes close to being as popular as this dynamic and challenging game. Numerous cricket stadiums in Pakistan have been built to host major tournaments.
Graana.com has compiled a list of the top cricket stadiums in Pakistan below.
After Gaddafi Stadium’s seating capacity was reduced after renovations, the National Stadium, which was built in 1955 and is located on National Stadium Road, became Pakistan’s largest cricket stadium. It has a capacity of roughly 34,000 people.
It was originally referred to as the “Fortress of Pakistani Cricket” because Pakistan won the majority of the test matches played here. Additionally, the team Karachi Kings (of the Pakistan Super League) call it home.
For test matches, the pitch here favours quick bowlers, although it is still batting-friendly for ODIs (one-day internationals).
Even though the National Stadium has hosted numerous international games since it was built, the World Cup games in 1987 and 1996 stand out. The stadium also served as the venue for the PSL’s 2019 season finale and a number of other games. Nine PSL 5 matches, as well as the PSL 2020 opening ceremony, were held at this stadium.
Gaddafi Stadium in Gulberg, Lahore, was built in 1959 and has space for 27,000 cricket fans. It was previously called “Lahore Stadium”. After Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, the former leader of Libya, delivered a speech at the location during the 2nd Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the name was changed in 1974.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is also based here. It is also where the nation’s primary cricket training academy is located. It is the home field of the PSL team Lahore Qalandars.
One of Pakistan’s most well-known cricket venues, Gaddafi Stadium has hosted games during the 1987 and 1996 World Cup. This stadium has also hosted the PSL 2 championship game in March 2017. The pitch is primarily conducive to batting.
It was also the country’s first stadium to have modernly-designed floodlights with their own backup generators. With its red-brick design, it resembles the architecture from the Mughal era after being renovated in the 1990s under the direction of architect Nayyar Ali Dada.
With 14 games, including the semifinals and championship game, Gaddafi Stadium also served as the venue of the most PSL 2020 matches.
Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium
The Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium was built in 1992 on Stadium Road, which connects to Sector I-9 in Islamabad. It can currently accommodate 28,000 spectators, thanks to recent renovations. It is only 5 kilometres outside of Islamabad and serves as Islamabad United’s home field in the PSL.
Due to its favourable pitch, the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium hosted a few matches during the 1996 World Cup, and other test matches have also been played here. In addition, the stadium has hosted eight PSL 6 games.
Multan Cricket Stadium
Multan Cricket Stadium, which was established in 2001 to replace Ibn-e-Qasim Bagh Stadium, is situated outside of the city. It is also the home field of the PSL team Multan Sultans and has a capacity of 35,000 people.
The pitch at the Multan Cricket Stadium, which also hosts ODIs and test matches, favours seam bowlers. The stadium’s floodlights make it possible to easily accommodate both day and night matches. The home team played four PSL 2020 matches at the stadium.
The Iqbal Stadium, which originally had the name “Lyallpur Stadium,” was constructed in the city of Faisalabad in the 1970s, and has a capacity of 18,000 spectators. The name was later changed to honour the poet Allama Muhammad Iqbal. The stadium is located only a few kilometres from the city centre and is conveniently accessible by foot for the locals.
History demonstrates that Iqbal Stadium’s level pitches are ideal for batting, allowing players to score runs and make quality strokes. The first World Cup quarterfinal match in 1996 was the most significant of the several test and ODI matches that have taken place here.
The British constructed Jinnah Stadium in Sialkot in the 1920s, which can accommodate 18,000 spectators. “Connelly Park” was the place’s initial name. After changing its name to “Jinnah Park” in the 1950s, it was given its current name in 1979. It is one of the oldest stadiums in the nation.
Both test matches and ODIs have been held here. Fast bowlers are said to benefit from Jinnah Stadium’s green-top surfaces.
The PSL team of Quetta Gladiators play their home games at the Bugti Stadium, which was formerly known as “Racecourse Ground” until 1989. The first game was played here in 1954, which is when records state it was established. There are no fewer than 10,000 seats available in the stadium.
The venue has also hosted ODI matches, and the pitch is favourable to batsmen.
Arbab Niaz Stadium
The Arbab Niaz Stadium, which serves as the home field of the PSL team Peshawar Zalmi, was constructed in the early 1980s. Up to 20,000 cricket enthusiasts can gather here to watch their favourite teams play. As a result of its close vicinity to Shahi Bagh, a park in Peshawar that dates back to the Mughal era, it was given its original name of “Shahi Bagh Stadium”.
Since it has been built, the Arbab Niaz Stadium has primarily been utilised for ODIs rather than test cricket matches, and its pitches are excellent for spinners.
The Niaz Stadium in Qasimabad, which seats 15,000 spectators, was built in 1959 and was given that name in honour of a Hyderabad native who loved the game.
The stadium has previously hosted both ODI and test matches, but swing bowler Jalaluddin’s first-ever hat trick in ODIs for Pakistan is what has made it well-known. Its pitch is also good for hitting.
Gwadar Cricket Stadium
The port city’s cricket stadium is Pakistan’s newest and arguably most picturesque addition to the country’s most top-notch cricket venues. It has also earned praise from the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, which calls it “the world’s most beautiful stadium” (HRD).
So what is it about Gwadar Cricket Stadium that inspires such awe? It is primarily due to the sports venue’s distinctive position; craggy mountains tower over the cricket field’s lush green grass.
In November 2020, the construction of the stadium was completed and formally opened. It is an ideal location to host international cricket matches, with seating for thousands of spectators. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has also acknowledged and appreciated the stadium’s extraordinary beauty and size.
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