The days are gone when Pakistan was on the top list of neglected countries. Nowadays Tourists from all over the world feels very safe to Travel in Pakistan as in the form of Exploring the real beauty of Pakistan. Furthermore, there’s an increase in Pakistan Tours which is promoting the Tourism in Pakistan.
People all around the world recognize that Pakistan takes its cricket seriously. Along with India and a few countries in West Europe and Oceania. In fact, it’s about as thoroughly connected to the sport as any place else on Earth. However, the last decade or so of Cricket in Pakistan has left some with a shaky interpretation of what the sport can be like.
Without getting into the details, there was some terrorist activity back in 2009 that resulted in some changes to the Pakistan home cricket situation. It should be noted that in the past decade, the country has been fighting back hard against similar issues, with some positive results. Namely, there has been an uptick in tourism to the area as people perceive that problems of this nature have been addressed and taken seriously.
Nevertheless, the aforementioned incident meant that for quite some time Pakistan played its biggest “home” matches outside of the country. In 2015 England famously took a summer tour against Pakistan that took place in the United Arab Emirates, effectively placing it on neutral ground (though admittedly within some beautiful stadiums). It was a Twenty20 event, and one that in either England or Pakistan likely would have drawn more attention. Meanwhile, the other best opportunities for the world to get a look at the Pakistan national team are via the ICC World Cup, which last took place in Australia and New Zealand (and which moves to England and Wales next year).
While this has affected how the world sees the national team in recent years, however, it’s not as if cricket isn’t still a major part of the culture in Pakistan. Accordingly, there are some wonderful places to watch a match if you ever get the opportunity – either on a sporting tour of the country or simply while you’re visiting anyway. Here’s a quick look at a few stadiums to keep in mind.
Constructed in 1959 in Lahore and with a capacity of 27,000, Gaddafi Stadium effectively serves as one of the national cricket grounds. It hasn’t been used as much in the last decade or so, but it remains a big, beautiful stadium. It was renovated in 1996 for the World Cup.
Also known as the Karachi Cricket Stadium, this is another venue that has long hosted the Pakistan national team (at least leading up to the home match “embargo.” It was listed by a major sports publication as one of the top 25 venues in the world for cricket, and with good reason. Though it’s frankly somewhat dilapidated, it’s a classic stadium with a rich history and, when home matches are held, a very high-energy atmosphere.
Located in Gujranwala, Jinnah Stadium is actually a multi-purpose venue, though its main purpose is to host cricket matches. And, just as with the last two venues mentioned, it has hosted national team matches (and in fact doesn’t have its own local professional club). It’s a 40,000-capacity stadium which ought to make it a more frequently used venue than it is, and it also has some interesting history, having hosted the debut for record-setting player Sachin Tendulkar in 1989.
Cricket really is wonderful to see if you catch the right match in a country with a proud tradition. So, despite the aforementioned issues, if you do get the opportunity to see the sport played in one of these major stadiums, it’s certainly something that can enrich a Trip to Pakistan.