Stories about Gaddafi Stadium

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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#CricketComesHome: With tears and jubilation, the cornered tigers are back with a bang

“Ugg raha hai dar-o-deewar se sabzah Ghalib! Hum bayabaan mein hein aur ghar mein bahar aayee hai” (Greenery is growing out of the doors and walls, Ghalib I am in wilderness and spring has arrived at my house.) In his remarkable yet slightly partial treatise to the game in Pakistan, The Wounded Tiger Peter Oborne identifies two events as being game-changing in the history of the sport in the land of the pure. First was the ‘Test match’ victory over the touring MCC side in Karachi in 1951 which established an Abdul Hafeez Kardar-led Pakistan side as a force in international cricket and ...

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Misbahul Haq deserves to play at home, one last time for one last goodbye

Six years ago, Muttiah Muralidharan bowled his last over against Khurram Manzoor in Lahore, after which Pakistan saw the deadliest international cricket draught ever in its history. But yesterday, that barren spell was broken, when a fearless Anwar Ali bowled the first over of the T20 match between Pakistan and Zimbabwe – marking the end of a dark era. The Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore was jam-packed and lit brightly for all to see the return of international cricket to Pakistan. Pakistani batsman Ahmed Shehzad (R) congratulates to his teammate Mukhtar Ahmed after scoring 50 runs against Zimbabwe during the ...

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Are we really ready for Zimbabwe?

Pakistan announced its T20 squad today with former captain Shoaib Malik and star all-rounder Umar Akmal making a comeback. Muhammad Sami, another lost tale of the Pakistan cricket biopic, was given a chance to showcase his pace program against Zimbabwe – the first team to visit Pakistan since 2009 for a T20 two-match series and an ODI three-match series. The whole series, from its very start till now, has faced a lot of controversies, contradictions and confusions. It is a new beginning for Pakistan cricket but it has come after a lot of struggles. The Zimbabwe Cricket Union’s advance team visited Lahore to ...

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Zimbabwe’s trip to Pakistan must not be taken lightly

There was a time when Pakistani fans could see their fast-bowling maestros – like Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar – pierce through the wind and attack the opposition with all their mighty force, live, in front of them, in their own stadium. There was a time when people could witness Shahid Afridi’s magnificent sixes or Javed Miandad’s stunning innings on Pakistani grounds. Unfortunately, over the past six year, no international team has come to Pakistan to play a series with our national team. And as such, Pakistani cricket fans have been deprived of this chance to ...

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Zimbabwe’s visit to Pakistan: Dawn of a new era?

“Daarhion ne phir marwa diya hai” (The beards [bearded men] have gotten us into trouble again) These were the first words I heard on a dreary school morning as news of the attackon the touring Sri Lankan team made the headlines. A desolate shroud enveloped Zinda Dilan-e-Lahore as news broke that the bus carrying the touring Sri Lankan cricket team was fired at by a coterie of Kalashnikov toting ‘na maloom afraad’ in broad daylight. The nearby elite would hear of such incidents up in the agencies next to the Afghan border and seldom, the Taliban types would make it as far as Peshawar, but a gun massacre somewhere as central ...

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Sweet revenge is on its way with Pakistan vs Australia

Pakistan has finally managed to drag itself past the group stages and reach the quarter-finals of the ICC World Cup 2015… and what a ride it has been! The last time Pakistan was expelled from the tournament during our first rounds was  in 2007. The same happened in 2003. Therefore, fans have been susceptible to Pakistan’s progress in this tournament. And losing the first two matches of the group stages did little to improve the team’s image. However, they did recover soon from the initial blows and developed a better team combination – which led them to winning four consecutive matches and ...

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In Pakistan, you must be Muslim to have a monument named after you

How far does religious background, rather than actual character, go towards establishing respect in this country? The news that the plans to rename the Shadman Chowk roundabout in Lahore after historically instrumental freedom fighter Bhagat Singh have been scrapped isn’t surprising, considering the rising level of intolerance in our nation. Reports state that after pressure from right-wing religious organisations, the ‘Dilkash Lahore Committee’ opted for poet Habib Jalib’s name instead. I have nothing against the Pakistani poet, who by all accounts was as impressive at his prose- as he was in his stance against oppression. What is actually regrettable here is ...

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MQM in Punjab: Free food, stale agenda

The big MQM jalsa in Lahore was touted as the game changer for the party and the people of Punjab. Roads in the city were lined with billboards as reminders of the rally that would kickstart the “revolution”. The promise was that MQM chief Altaf Hussain’s words would inspire people to stand up against an oppressive two-party political system. But now that the jalsa is over and the reviews are in, it seems that nothing has changed. The only effect of the jalsa on the people of Lahore was that they had to take alternative routes to their destinations as multiple roads were blocked off. Trying and ...

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