Gaddafi Stadium Lahore is considered as the home of Pakistan cricket. Established in 1959, the stadium can host 27000 spectators at a time. Formerly known as Lahore stadium, the glorious Gaddafi stadium hosted the 1996 World Cup final. The name of the stadium was changed in 1974 to honor the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
As Gaddafi stadium is hosting Sri Lanka, let’s have a look at the historic cricketing moments that took place at this venue.
In 1976, during the first Test, Kiwi bowler Peter Petherick became the first player to take a hat-trick at Gaddafi stadium. He got the key scalps of Javed Miandad (163), Wasim Raja (0) and Intikhab Alam (0) on day 1 of the Test match.
Wasim Akram took advantage of the home ground and thrashed the Sri Lankans. During the third Test of the Asian Test Championship, Wasim claimed the first hat-trick of Test cricket against Sri Lanka when he got rid of Romesh Kaluwitharana, Niroshan Bandaratilleke, and Pramodya Wickramasinghe.
Three years later at the same venue and against the same opposition speedster, Mohammad Sami claimed maiden Test hat-trick. The batsmen dismissed were Charitha Buddhika, Nuwan Zoysa, and Muttiah Muralitharan.
Victory over New Zealand
Pakistan’s Javed Miandad and Asif Iqbal added 281 runs for fifth-wicket stand during a Test match against New Zealand in October 1976. This is Pakistan’s highest fifth-wicket partnership to date. Pakistan also earned a resounding win over Kiwis in 2002 at this venue when they beat tourists New Zealand by an innings and 324 runs.
The revival of international cricket
The historic cricket ground has seen cricket going back and then returning to Pakistan. In May 2015, this ground welcomed international cricket in Pakistan when Zimbabwe – the full member nation toured Pakistan for 2 T20Is and 3 ODIs. Since then Gaddafi stadium has hosted numerous international and PSL matches.
Currently, Sri Lanka is playing three-match T20I series at the Gaddafi stadium.
The crowd at Gaddafi stadium has always supported cricket in Pakistan. The crowd has always poured in a large amount no matter how hot the weather is or what kind of match is the stadium hosting. Cricket runs in the blood of every Pakistani and spectators have proved it right every time.
As the international cricket has found its way back to Pakistan, Gaddafi stadium will once again host big teams and mega-events like World Cups, Champions Trophy and Asia Cup.