Cricket is the most popular and extensively played sport in Pakistan, as we all know. It had been significantly impacted in the past by the country’s dire situation. However, it is stated that cricket in Pakistan has been given a second life following the success of the PSL.
Pakistani cricket fans and stadiums were well known around the world, and many historic matches were held here. Here, in this article, we will talk about the most famous, historic, and beautiful cricket stadiums of Pakistan.
There are many international cricket stadiums in Pakistan. Cricket is without a doubt the most popular sport in the world, with fans flocking to the stadium in droves. A variety of elements come into play when determining whether a venue is suitable for a cricket match or not.
National Stadium, Karachi
National stadium or Karachi cricket stadium is the most popular and well-known cricket stadium. It was constructed in 1955, at national stadium road Karachi. It is the largest cricket stadium of Pakistan.
It was originally known as the “Fortress of Pakistani Cricket,” as Pakistan won most of the Test matches conducted there. The National Stadium, which is currently one of Pakistan’s greatest cricket stadiums, has a capacity of 34,000 seats.
The “pitch” texture of this stadium is favorable for fast bowlers in Test matches while in ODI it is said to be batting friendly one.
Though the National Stadium has hosted several international matches since its inception, the matches held during the 1987 and 1996 World Cups are noteworthy.
This wonderful stadium also hosted some games of the 1996 World Cup. At this venue, two renowned cricketers, Sachin Tendulkar and Waqar Younis, made their test debuts.
In 2019, the stadium hosted the PSL final as well as a few other matches.9 PSL 5 matches, as well as the PSL 2020 opening ceremony, were held at this venue. This stadium is also the home ground of PSL Karachi kings’ team.
Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium
Rawalpindi cricket stadium was built in 1992 at stadium Road, Islamabad. It presently has a capacity of 28,000 spectators following its recent renovations.
Because of its favorable pitch, the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium was a reasonably busy stadium during the 1996 World Cup, although it has also hosted other Test matches.
Until the early 2000s, it was a regular Test location. While the last time a Test match was held here was in 2004.
This stadium is serving both the twin cities, i.e., Islamabad and Rawalpindi. It is also said to be the home venue for PSL team Islamabad United. And as per sources, it will also host 8 matches of PSL 6.
Multan Cricket Stadium
Multan Cricket Stadium is one of the country’s few multi-purpose stadiums, capable of hosting both cricket and football matches. It is one of Multan’s top sports stadiums because of its lush green outfield, well-maintained pitches, and neat and clean rows of seats.
In order to replace Ibn-e-Qasim Bagh Stadium, Multan cricket stadium was established in 2001. The Multan Cricket Stadium is situated on the city’s outskirts. The venue has a 35,000-seat capacity.
Multan Cricket Stadium holds both Test and One-Day International matches, with the ground supporting pace bowlers. The stadium’s floodlights make it possible to play day and night games.
It is also said to be the home ground for PSL team Multan sultan and had hosted 4 matches of the team in PSL 2020.
Arbab Niaz Stadium, Peshawar
Arbab Niaz Stadium of Peshawar was built in the 1984. And it has a capacity of around 20 thousand spectators. Because of its close vicinity to Shahi Bagh, a Mughal-era Park in Peshawar, it was originally named Shahi Bagh Stadium.
After its creation, the Arbab Niaz Stadium was largely utilized for ODIs rather than Test cricket, and its surfaces are perfect for spinners. The first ever test match conducted here was in 1995, in between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The pitch of this stadium is favorable mostly for spinners, and it was earlier known for ODI matches.
It serves as a home stadium for the Peshawar Zalmi of the Pakistan Super League.
The first international match was held at this magnificent stadium in 1995, drawing a large audience reflecting the sway of international players. This stadium has successfully held various formats of cricket matches since 1995.
Jinnah Stadium, Sialkot
Jinnah stadium is one of the oldest and finest cricket stadiums of Pakistan with the capacity of 18 thousand seats in it. This stadium was established in the British era, in the 1920s. Earlier, it was named as “Connelly Park” and then renamed as “Jinnah Park” in the 1950s. And In 1979, the name was changed to what it is now.
Here have been played both Tests and ODIs matches. Furthermore, Fast bowlers are believed to benefit from the green-top surfaces at Sialkot’s Jinnah Stadium.
The first international Test Match played here was in between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in 1985, while the last Test match was played in 1995.
In a series between India and Pakistan in 1984, after the news of the killing of the then-Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, reached the ground, the ODI was called off in the middle and abandoned. India was in the middle of their innings.
In 1976, Pakistan has played its first ever ODI match on this ground, in their own country. That match was played against New Zealand team.
Gaddafi Stadium OF Lahore
Gaddafi stadium of Lahore is the most famous cricket stadium of Pakistan. it was established in 1959, in the area of Gulberg, Lahore.
Earlier, it was named as “Lahore stadium”, but after the speech of former Libyan Colonel Muammar Gaddafi at the event of 2nd OCI conference in 1979, they renamed it as “Gaddafi stadium”.
This stadium has the capacity of about 27,000 seats and is also the home venue of PSL team Lahore Qalandars. In March 2017, this stadium hosted the last match of the PSL 2.
This stadium is very important, firstly because Pakistan Cricket board PCB’s main building is established here, and secondly national cricket training academy is also near the stadium.
The Gaddafi Stadium is one of Pakistan’s most well-known cricket venues, having hosted matches in the 1987 and 1996 World Cups.
The pitch is conducive to batting. Also, the stadium was the first ever in Pakistan to be outfitted with contemporary floodlights that were powered by a separate backup generator.
Its reconstruction in the 1990s, under the direction of architect Nayyar Ali Dada, gave it a unique character, and its red brick appearance now mimics monuments from the Mughal era.
Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad
This stadium was established in the 1970’s, and was originally named as “Lyallpur stadium”, the name then was changed to “Iqbal stadium” in the honor of our national poet- Allama Muhammad Iqbal.
This stadium has the capacity to fill 18 thousand people at a time. The stadium is located only a few kilometers from the city center and is readily walkable for residents.
The Iqbal Stadium has a history of flat surfaces that are ideal for batters looking for runs and excellent strokes.
The first quarter-last match of the 1996 World Cup was played here, as were other Test matches and ODIs.
Narol Cricket Stadium, Muzaffarabad
Muzaffarabad’s Narol Cricket Stadium, with its surrounding mountains, creates a beautiful scene. Although the stadium does not meet international standards, it has staged several club crickets matches. To be upgraded to an international standard stadium, the stadium will need to be rebuilt, and the facilities updated.
It was established in 2007, and has the capacity of about 10 thousand seats.
Abbottabad Cricket Stadium
The Abbottabad Cricket Stadium has hosted several first-class matches throughout the years and was one of the sites for the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in 2019/2020. The beautiful green field is ideal for holding an international tournament; however, structures will need to be built to accommodate spectators. The scenery, on the other hand, is stunning enough to make one forget about it.
This stadium was established in 2003 by PCB. Although international matches have yet to be staged there, it is well-known for domestic matches and national training.
Bugti Stadium, Quetta
The Bugti Stadium, formerly known as Racecourse Ground, until 1989, is the home of the PSL club Quetta Gladiators. It was founded in 1954, according to records, and the first match was played there in 1954. In October 1996, it was the site of a Day International match between Pakistan and Zimbabwe. The venue held twenty-two first-class matches between 1954 and 2008.
On October 1, 1978, the first One-Day International match was played here between hosts Pakistan and India. While in October 29, 1996, Pakistan and Zimbabwe played their final One-Day International (ODI) at Quetta.
In the 2019-20 season, Balochistan played four games at Bugti Stadium, the first first-class matches in the province since 2008.
The venue has already hosted ODIs, and its surface is ideal for batters. There are presently fewer than 10,000 seats available at the stadium.