Gaddaffi Stadium- Home of Cricket Legends Showcasing the Taste of Lahore

By Madiha Hamid

No cricket loving Pakistani can ever forget Javed Miandad and Asif Iqbal’s heroic fifth wicket stand of 281 runs against New Zealand in 1976 at Gaddafi Stadium, where Miandad was able to snatch a win from the very jaws of defeat; saving Pakistan from a humiliating defeat. The Gaddafi crowd has also had the privilege of witnessing Wasim Akram’s legendary hat trick against Sri-Lanka. Gaddafi is the birthplace of Pakistan Cricket, and now the home of Lahore Qalandars

Gaddafi Stadium, Source: Dost Pakistan Gaddafi Stadium, Source: Dost Pakistan

Gaddafi Stadium was originally known as Lahore Stadium. It was renamed upon the visit of late Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi in 1974.It is also Pakistan’s only cricket ground to have hosted Cricket World Cup final in 1996.

The Gaddafi stadium also hosts Pakistan National Cricket Academy. This academy has produced some of the finest test and one-day cricketers in Pakistan’s history.

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The stadium and the grounds around Gadaffi are very much alive even today. Gaddafi Stadium, once again, had the honour of bringing international cricket back to the country in 2015 after 6 years. 
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Even today, when roaming around the stadium, one can see national cricket stars practicing in the nets while young aspiring cricketers look on with awe. One of the most spectacular sights is the level of dedication and hard work that these youngsters show, playing their hearts out all year round in the hopes of being selected to the national team, never knowing when a scout might be watching and which match may be their ticket to fame.

DSC_4874 (1) Food kiosks outside the stadium

The  National Cricket Academy has produced many shinning stars including Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, the Asian Bradman Zaheer Abbas, Aqib Javed and of course, Javed Miandad. Hard work and extreme physical exertion drains these players and they love to indulge and eat from the stalls right outside the stadium. Not so high in traditional nourishment terms for players but amazing food is available outside Gaddafi Stadium. So much so that it has become one of the food places to go to for tourists and local alike.

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National team players and young stars alike frequent these food outlets with traditional seating arrangements.  You can find high end restaurants as well as kioskas selling hearty meal for a young player in Rs. 30.  A shop sells rabri and fresh milk and and yogurt;  after an intense game of cricket to stave off the bitter cold and keep players in fighting shape.

DSC_4870 Dhoodh Rabri Wala

One of the specialties that can be bought is the Kunna gosht  made with fresh meat; slaughtered the same day and cooked in mud kilns, with nothing but fat and spices used to marinate. Another speciality that can be found is the Lahore Fried Fish. The fish is brought in daily and is quoted with spices and deep fried.

12654586_10156442974590433_3287677714219622624_n Fish ready to be fried outside Gaddaffi Stadium Credit: Vimlendu Jhu

You can also get to eat Sajji (a traditional Balochi dish) served with rice. In winters you will find Chicken soup, or Yakhni as it is known. It is also a favorite, affordable and fundamental element of a young cricketer’s diet.

Lastly, for the Lahori sweet tooth, there are a number of smaller stalls and dining establishments offering Khoya Kheer, frozen ice lollies and Shahi Kulfa.
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Must have item from Gaddafi Stadium is the Paan, which can be found outside Dera. In his fancy cart, this guy sells pan with a wide range of condiments. After a good heavy meal of mutton and rice cooked in brick kiln, this pan is surely a treat!

For those who prefer a more western touch of food, the Gaddafi has equally good Crème Brule, Molten Chocolate Cake and strawberry cheese cake offered at one of the most unique establishments, that is a unique blend of east and west.

We wish and pray that PSL shines in Gaddafi Stadium soon and Lahore Qalandars- #MobilinkKaySikandar can actually play in their home ground

Madiha Hamid

Chefling-in-Chief Founder Chefling Tales. A foodie that loves to travel and explore different flavors of Pakistan and the world. She loves to cook recipes that are different , yet simple. She wants people to know and understand the beauty of Pakistani Regional Cuisines @madihamid

Madiha Hamid

Chefling-in-Chief Founder Chefling Tales. A foodie that loves to travel and explore different flavors of Pakistan and the world. She loves to cook recipes that are different , yet simple. She wants people to know and understand the beauty of Pakistani Regional Cuisines @madihamid