top of page

Lahore: The Home Of Pakistan Cricket?

Updated: May 17

Since their first Test in 1952, Pakistan have produced some absolutely fantastic cricketers but Lahore stands out as a unique breeding ground for some of the best to represent the men in green.

Of the 34 men to have ever captained Pakistan, 10 of them have hailed from Lahore. An even more remarkable statistic is that it was over ten years before the first non-Lahori took charge of the country as the first 3 captains were all natives of the central Punjab city.

Before Imran Khan’s cricketing overhaul of first class cricket in the country (Khan being a Lahore native himself), the city had a number of teams representing them mostly due to the strength in depth that the city has in its cricketers. Since the restrustructing, Central Punjab, who represent Lahore and other regions have won the first 2 Quaid-e-Azam Trophies that they’ve entered (1 tied)... not a bad start.

The list of world class cricketers from Lahore is unbelievable as you will see when I name the best XI ever from the city but some of the stats to go alongside this are breathtaking. Lahore has produced 62 players to play in World Cup matches, to give you a scale, London has produced just 19. As a result of this, Lahore has produced the most Man of the Match awarded players in CWC history too with 22.

Despite not having the biggest stadium in Pakistan, Lahore’s Gaddafi stands out as being the hub of cricket in the nation. The PCB has its HQ at the stadium but it is also home to the Lahore Qalandars for the PSL and Central Punjab. It has been the site of many a proud memory for Pakistani fans but one game that sticks out didn’t involve Pakistan at all. In 1996, Lahore was the city that hosted the 1996 World Cup Final where Sri Lanka famously upset Australia to win their maiden World Cup.

Prior to the Gaddafi Stadium’s monopoly on international cricket, Bagh-e-Jinnah hosted the third ever Test to be played in the country. This beautiful looking ground (the second oldest in the continent) also hosted Pakistan’s first unofficial Test against the West Indies in 1948. Whilst the Gaddafi has the roar and clamour of modern cricket; Bagh-e-Jinnah has a more simple, beautiful grassroots feel to it.

Clearly this is a city with a lot of cricketing culture.

Lahore was the site of one of the worst tragedies associated with cricket as in 2009, the Sri Lankan team bus was targeted as they approached the Gaddafi Stadium. 8 people died that day and it left a lasting scar on Pakistan cricket. For years after, this cricketing powerhouse were exiled to playing their ‘home’ games in front of very few fans in the UAE while millions were glued to their TV sets at home for nearly a decade afterwards.

Thankfully, cricket has begun to return to the country and to Lahore too. A World T20 XI visited Lahore for a one-off series, a welcome return of glamour to a city long-starved of world class cricket.

Currently, Babar Azam leads the new generation of Lahori talent but he sits as the very latest in a long list of wonderful cricketers from the city as you’ll see below!

Pakistan is a proud cricketing nation so to try and name one city as its centrepoint is tough but what do you think, do you reckon Lahore is Pakistan’s cricketing home? Let us know @cricketdistrict

All time made in Lahore XI

Azhar Ali

Aamir Sohail

Mohammad Yousuf

Babar Azam

Saleem Malik

Imran Khan

Kamran Akmal (WK)

Wasim Akram

Fazal Mahmood

Abdul Qadir

Saqlain Mushtaq

bottom of page