The Gaddafi Stadium is a cricket ground in Lahore, Pakistan. The stadium was designed by famous architect and engineer Nasreddin Murat-Khan, and constructed by Mian Abdul Khaliq and Company in 1959.
Since the headquarters of the Pakistan Cricket Board is located at the stadium, the stadium automatically becomes the Pakistan national team’s home ground.
Gaddafi Stadium Capacity
The stadium is operated by the Lahore Regional Cricket Association and has a capacity of 27,000 seats. The stadium is one of the major ones in Pakistan and is famous for hosting the 1996 Cricket World Cup final.
Originally called the Lahore Stadium, the new name came in to existence because of a speech given by then Libyan President and dictator Muammar Gaddafi supporting Pakistan’s rights to nuclear weapons.
After being renamed to Gaddafi Stadium in 1974, the stadium was renovated for the 1996 Cricket World Cup by architect Nayyar Ali Dada. The Gaddafi Stadium was the first stadium in Pakistan to have its own standby power generators for its floodlights.
Before the renovation in 1995-96, the stadium had a capacity of 60,000 and was reduced to its tiny number due to reconstruction of certain parts and replacing concrete benches with plastic seats.
The first match held here was a test between Pakistan and Australia in 1959.
The Gaddafi Stadium hosted its first test match between Pakistan and Australia in 1959, the year the stadium was established.
The stadium hosted its first major tournament in the 1987 Cricket World Cup where it hosted two matches. The 1996 Cricket World cup was a major one for the stadium where it hosted four matches including the finals.
The stadium has also been a witness to the massive rivalry between India and Pakistan. India played the hosts here on two occasions. The first ODI came on 21 March 2004, which was a one-sided affair as India won with ease, chasing a score of 294. The second ODI was played on 13 February 2006, and was a similar affair as the last one. India won the match with five wickets in hand, chasing a score of 288.
The stadium has witnessed itself in the centre of all tragedies and has been a pawn in all kinds of nuclear and political debates.
In 2009, when the Sri Lankan team were travelling to the stadium for their match against Pakistan, their bus was attacked by terrorist militants injuring many players. This is seen as a blow to the stadium’s reputation and also to Pakistan’s home cricketing ambitions. This remains as a talking point whenever Pakistan has tried to convince other nations to come tour there for tests and has forced Pakistan to play many of their matches at neutral venues.
The most recent match played at this stadium was on October 29, 2017 between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In spite of the security concerns, Sri Lanka arrived at the ill-fated stadium to play one T20 international.
The last test played here was again between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in 2009 and the last ODI played here was between Pakistan and Zimbabwe in 2015.