A Guide to Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
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.
Currently, the stadium is hosting the third test match series between Pakistan and Australia.
Graana.com, Pakistan’s first online real estate marketplace, has covered the history, facts and main events in the Gaddafi Stadium below.
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
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:
- 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.
- 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.