A Guide to Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore: A blog explaining the history and directions to the stadium

Situated in the centre of the Lahore metropolitan area is the Gaddafi Stadium, previously known as Lahore Stadium. It was originally designed in 1959 by the Russian-born Pakistani architect, Nasreddin Murat Khan, who is also famously known for designing the National Monument (Minar-e-Pakistan) in Iqbal Park, Lahore.

Gaddafi Stadium is the second largest sports stadium in Pakistan, and fifth largest overall. The stadium can hold up to 60,000 spectators depending on the arrangement of the seating, and hosts important sporting events. There are many things to do in Lahore so before you set off on your venture to this area make sure you know where Gaddafi Stadium is located!

The Gaddafi Stadium is one of the most iconic stadiums in Asia and it is obvious why, with its unique look and the grandeur that surrounds it. It is located in the heart of Lahore next to the famous Qaddafi Railway Station.

Currently, the stadium is hosting the third test match series between Pakistan and Australia.

A Guide to Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore: A blog explaining the history and directions to the stadium

A Guide to Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore: A blog explaining the history and directions to the stadium

How the Stadium Got Its Name

In 1974, the Lahore Stadium hosted the second summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, where the Libyan leader Colonel Muhammad Gadaffi addressed the summit. In his honour, the stadium was renamed to Gaddafi Stadium (or the colloquial Qazaffi Stadium).

Renovation of the Gaddafi Stadium

The 1996 Cricket World Cup brought the next milestone for the stadium: Pakistan was to host 16 matches of the tournament, 4 of which were to be played in Gaddafi Stadium.

Architect Nayyar Ali Dada, a graduate of the National College of Arts, supervised the renovation of the stadium. He added a cultural touch by utilising the red hand-laid bricks and arches of the Mughal architecture.

The removal of plastic seats, and instalment of concrete benches, modern facilities for media coverage and floodlights with backup generators made the stadium more accessible. Additionally, there was a new pressroom with a seating capacity of 400 people, along with 30 hospitality rooms.

Other additions to the stadium were team chambers, a warm-up area, and gym facilities. Shops and offices replaced the lower portion of the stands.

The stadium can now seat 27,000 spectators, and the pitch has been termed as a batting-friendly pitch.

Route to the Stadium

Map of the Route to Gaddafi Stadium

Gaddafi Stadium is fairly easy to spot with its red brick boundary walls and prime location in Gulberg 3, where there are a number of sports academies and stadiums for cricket, football, hockey, tennis, and more.

Gaddafi Stadium is built on Hafeez Kardar Road, which is easily accessible via Ferozepur Road. The National Hockey Stadium and Punjab Athletics Stadium are directly opposite it, 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 National Cricket Academy are among the prominent landmarks surrounding the stadium.

Records Made in the Stadium

Teams have set up records in all three cricket formats in the stadium. Listed below are some of the biggest cricket highlights:

Test Cricket

Inzamam-ul-Haq set the record for highest individual score at the Gadaffi Stadium. He scored a mammoth 329 against New Zealand in 2002.

Pakistan holds a record for highest team total, when the team made 699 against India in 1989.

New Zealand holds the record for the lowest team score of 73, which they made against Pakistan in 2002.

One Day International

Ijaz Ahmed holds the record of longest individual score in the stadium, with an innings of 139* in 1997 against India.

In 2015, Pakistan played an innings of 376 against Zimbabwe and set the record for the highest team total on the ground.

Pakistan also holds the record for the lowest team total in the one-day international format when the team scored 75 in 2009.

T20 International

In the T20 format, Ahmed Shehzad earned the title for the highest individual scorer, while playing against World XI in 2017.

Pakistan holds the record for the highest team total (197) in a match played against World XI in 2017.

On the other hand, Sri Lanka played the lowest team total with a score of 144 against Pakistan in 2017.

The Stadium in Highlights

Peter Petherick of New Zealand scored a hat-trick against Pakistan in 1976, Wasim Akram of Pakistan scored a hat-trick against Sri Lanka in 1999, and Mohammad Sami of Pakistan scored a hat-trick against Sri Lanka in 1999.

On the field, Pakistan has had some memorable moments, including a 281-run fifth-wicket stand between Javed Miandad and Asif Iqbal against New Zealand in 1976, and an innings and 324-run win against New Zealand in 2002.

In 2009, armed militants attacked the Sri Lankan team’s convoy at Liberty Roundabout near Gaddafi Stadium. This was during the second test match of the 2008–09 Sri Lanka tour of Pakistan. The Sri Lankan team was airlifted from the stadium to a nearby air base. They returned to Sri Lanka, effectively ending international cricket in Pakistan.

In 2015, the Zimbabwe cricket team became the first Full Member nation (of the ICC) to tour Pakistan since 2009. The stadium hosted the final of the 2017 Pakistan Super League, and Pakistan easily won both the ODI and T20I series.

In August 2017, the PCB and the ICC began working together to improve international cricket in Pakistan. With that, PCB planned a World XI tour to Pakistan for three T20Is under heavy security. 

Gaddafi Stadium Enclosures

There are 12 enclosures named as follows:

Intikhab Alam Enclosure

Iqbal Qasim Enclosure

Brothers Enclosure

Nasimul Ghani Enclosure

Wasim Bari Enclosure

Majid Khan Enclosure

Waqar Hasan Enclosure

Imran Khan Enclosure

Wasim Akram Enclosure

Zaheer Abbas Enclosure

Fazal Mahmood Enclosure

Hanif Mohammad Enclosure

Gaddafi Stadium welcomes peoples from different countries or cities during test, one day and T20 matches. It is a to-be destination for Cricket Fans from Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Baluchistan.

Pakistan Super League Host

The Pakistan Super League (PSL) is a professional Twenty20 cricket tournament contested by six teams from different cities of Pakistan. In September 2015, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officially announced the launch of the PSL which is a single entity with each franchise owned and controlled by investors. The current teams for PSL 2022 are:

Islamabad United

Karachi Kings

Lahore Qalandars

Multan Sultans

Peshawar Zalmi

Quetta Gladiators

Read More:

The Best Places to Visit in Lahore

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