Stories about Gaddafi Stadium

#KarachivsLahore: Three reasons why Karachi is not ready to host international cricket

To an ordinary person, September 12, 2017, may seem like yet another date, but for us Pakistanis, it was reliving the past, contemplating the present and gearing up for the future all in one. Pakistani cricketers pose for a photograph with trophy after winning the third and final Twenty20 International match against World XI. Photo AFP History will remember this date because 15 of the most skillful and courageous men stepped onto the ‘barren land’ with the aim of not only ousting the Pakistan cricket team, but also to eradicate the looming threat of terrorism from the land ...

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World XI: Siyasat, junoon aur Lahore

In a few hours’ time, Pakistan’s most cosmopolitan city will brace itself for a tussle between two political heavyweights, Kulsoom Nawaz and Yasmin Rashid. This democratic NA-120 is a by-product of the decision to disqualify a democratically-elected prime minister. Furthermore, it promises monumental changes to the country’s ever-turbulent political climate. The streets are indeed decked with scores of signs and banners, hinting at the nearing of something colossal. These banners have faces and a few badly thought-out catchphrases printed on them. It all sounds familiar, but feels rather different. These faces do not evoke feelings of annoyance in the people ...

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PakvsWXI: One victory down, will we be able to conquer the other two?

After eight long years, international cricket came home and we couldn’t be happier. Lahore was abuzz and cricket fans could be seen grinning from ear to ear, ready to cheer their team on. The atmosphere Fuelled by uncharacteristic silence and desertion, Gaddafi Stadium has portrayed a picture of despair more often than not for almost a decade. But much to the delight of the fans, it has finally sprung to life once again. Pakistani fans came decked up in all shades and colours, Pakistan v World XI, 1st T20I, Independence Cup 2017, Lahore, September 12, 2017. Photo: AFP A ...

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World XI vs Pakistan’s best: Will talent trump home advantage?

Most Pakistani cricket fans have purchased their tickets for the upcoming Independence Cup matches and cannot wait for them to begin.  After receiving security clearance from the International Cricket Council (ICC), the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is in full swing and is busy putting final touches to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Gaddafi Stadium is set to make its international cricket comeback, as the home team takes on World XI in the first Twenty20 International on September 12. Photo: AFP Let’s take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of each team, the behaviour of the pitch and the probable ...

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The realisation of a dream – cricket comes home, this time to stay hopefully

There was definitely some fiery magic in the air before Elton Chigumbura, accompanied by his troops, marched on to the newly painted and redecorated Gaddafi Stadium. You could sense that something remarkably huge was about to happen, but the sceptic within you, having grown eight-years-old now, denied you a good night’s sleep. Three words, cricket comes home, evoked emotions that could not be described, only felt. After years of yearning, Pakistan’s grand welcome of the Zimbabwean team was not the biggest breakthrough, but it was historic and a breakthrough nonetheless. Pakistan beat Zimbabwe in the second series of T-20. ...

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With the likes of Faf Du Plessis, Hashim Amla and Darren Sammy in the World XI squad, does Pakistan stand a chance?

On August 21, 2017, Najam Sethi may have uttered one of the most important sentences for Pakistani cricket fans: “I will announce the names of confirmed players in 72 hours.”  For avid cricket followers in Pakistan, the timer had been set right away. With each hour ticking away, the curiosity to find out the list of players was growing exponentially. It seemed as if Sethi had a finger on the pulse of the nation and hence kept us waiting till the last moment. After a long anxious wait, Sethi lived up to his promise and finally announced the World XI squad. Out of complete ecstasy and ...

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Why do you think Pakistan is not a safe place to play cricket?

March 5, 2017 Lahore will be buzzing. It’s Pakistan Super League final day. The match is being played on home soil. Apart from Zimbabwe last year, not one international team has been back since the Sri Lankans were shot at in 2009. That’s understandable. Who appreciates being shot at? But Pakistan is not the only place that cricketers have been unwilling to travel to in recent times. Australia chose not to go to Bangladesh. England were happy to, but Eoin Morgan was not. The 1996 World Cup gave walk-overs to Sri Lanka when the civil war was deemed too big a risk to ...

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With PCB and BCCI unable to set aside their differences, what happens to cricket?

The story goes that the chef at Jaipur’s Rambagh Palace had 40 baby lambs slaughtered the day before Pakistan’s military dictator, and arguably the most hated man in his country, was to be hosted as part of his trip to India to enjoy a game of cricket. Former PM Rajiv Gandhi with then Pakistan President Ziaul Haq at the Palam airport on Decemeber 17, 1985.Photo: Hindustan Times Paying true homage to Mughal culinary traditions Safed Maas (White meat curry) and Akbari Raan (Akbari mutton leg) were on the menu as General Ziaul Haq rubbed shoulders with the likes of Lala Amarnath ...

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Modi and Nawaz Sharif need to stop undermining cricket for political gains

During the Sri Lankan tour to Pakistan in 2009, the bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore was fired upon by militants, injuring six Sri Lankan players and killing six policemen and two civilians. It was a sad day for Pakistan cricket as no country was willing to send its team to Pakistan after this unfortunate incident.  In a scathing attack on the serious security lapse, the then Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram said, “Such incidents could make Pakistan a failed state, and that one was not sure as to who was in control of the country.” We, in India, always ...

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Thank you Zimbabwe, your determination was truly heroic

It ended in a way that it should not have; with logistical problems and the unpredictable weather having the final say. But even during these anticlimactic moments, the impact of the series will not be forgotten anytime soon. After a dry spell of six years, international cricket had returned to the green land. Normally, a series between the ninth and 10th ranked sides in the world would not generate much interest amongst cricket lovers and fans, but this was no ordinary series. This series allowed our Pakistani players to play in their home ground and in front of their people, who were longing to see their heroes ...

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