The Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, or Rafi Cricket Stadium, is in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. It’s a place for big cricket matches. It’s special because it was where Pakistan had its first-ever test match.
This stadium has seen lots of important cricket moments in its history. In this guide, we will explore the history of Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. Moreover, we will also explore the revival of cricket in Pakistan.
History of Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium
The Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium was made in November 1992. It was Pakistan’s third international cricket stadium, following the ones in Karachi and Lahore. The stadium has held many important cricket games, both local and international.
The first international match at the stadium happened on January 19, 1992. Sri Lanka played against Pakistan in a one-day match. In 1993, the stadium also had its first Test match, where Zimbabwe came to play.
Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium is in Rawalpindi, a big city in Pakistan. It’s right in the middle of the city, so it’s easy for people to get to. The stadium can hold 15,000 people, and it started hosting international cricket games in 1992.
Teams like Islamabad United and Northern play their matches here. It’s an important place for cricket in the region.
The Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium is a nice, new cricket field. It can hold about 28,000 people, and they have comfy seats. It’s got fancy stuff for the players, like places to change, practice nets, and a media room. Plus, there are places to get food and drinks for the fans.
Revival of cricket in Pakistan
The Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium helped bring back international cricket to Pakistan. For a while, there were safety worries, so international cricket didn’t happen in Pakistan.
But things changed in recent years. The Pakistan Cricket Board worked hard to bring international cricket back, and the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium played a big part in hosting these matches.
Pakistan has experienced a revival in cricket since the 2017 PSL final in Lahore. The country hosted several international matches, including the Independence Cup. In 2022, the Australian cricket team visited Pakistan after 24 years for three tests, ODIs, and a T20 match. The upcoming England tour furthers the revival of international cricket in Pakistan.
Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Test match
A very important game happened at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. It was a match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Both teams played really well, and the match was very close. It showed how skilled and determined the players were.
In October 2019, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) proposed hosting two Test matches in Pakistan, with the first match taking place in Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium from 11-15 December, marking the first Test match in the country after 13 years.
Cricket World Cup
The Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium was a big part of the Cricket World Cup. In 1996, during the Cricket World Cup, which was held in India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, this stadium was where some matches took place.
People came to watch these games, and there was a lot of excitement in the air. The stadium was a great place for the matches, and the cricket played there was intense.
1996 Cricket World Cup
The 1996 Cricket World Cup was a big cricket event. The games happened in India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka from February 14 to March 17, 1996.
The Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium was one of the important places in this World Cup. It was a special spot for the 1995-96 Cricket World Cup. Sri Lanka’s team won the tournament. They beat Australia in the final game on March 17, 1996, at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Pakistan.
A player named Sachin Tendulkar from India scored the most runs in the tournament. He got 523 runs. Another Indian player, Anil Kumble, took the most wickets with 15 wickets.
In 1996, during the Cricket World Cup, Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium was a big deal. It hosted some important matches. South Africa played three games there against the United Arab Emirates, England, and the Netherlands on February 16, February 25, and March 5, in that order.
The Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium has witnessed many remarkable records in different formats of the game.
The first test match here was played in 1993, between Pakistan and Zimbabwe from December 9th to 14th. The most recent test match took place in 2022, between Pakistan and England from December 1st to 5th.
One Day Internationals
The ODI match here was played in 1992, between Pakistan and Sri Lanka on 19 January. The most recent match took place in 2023, between Pakistan and New Zealand on 29 April.
The famous Pakistani cricket star Waqar Younis has taken the most wickets in ODIs. He got 11 wickets in six games, with an average of 24.27 and an economy of 4.94.
The famous Pakistani cricketer Inzamam-ul-Haq scored the most runs in One Day Internationals (ODIs). He made 560 runs in 11 turns at an average of 62.22, with a strike rate of 81.27.
The first T20 match happened on November 7, 2022, between Pakistan and Zimbabwe. The final match took place on April 24, 2023, between Pakistan and New Zealand.
In T20Is, the Pakistani spinner Usman Qadir, whose dad was the great Abdul Qadir, is the top wicket-taker at the stadium. He got eight wickets in three matches, with an average of 7.50 and an economy of 5.45.
In T20 Internationals (T20Is), the current Pakistani captain, Babar Azam, holds the record for the most runs at this stadium. He scored 133 runs in two innings, with an average of 66.50 and a strike rate of 152.87.
List of five-wicket hauls
In cricket, getting a five-wicket haul is a big deal. It means a bowler takes five or more wickets in one innings. In Pakistan, 159 players have achieved this. Arif Butt was the very first Pakistani to do this on his Test debut in 1964 when they were playing against Australia.
Some bowlers like Mohammad Zahid, Mohammad Nazir, and Arif Butt did even better by taking seven wickets each in one innings. Zahid’s seven-wicket haul happened in 1996 when Pakistan faced New Zealand at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. He did really well, taking 7 wickets for 66 runs in that match.
Abrar Ahmed made history in 2021 by becoming the first Pakistani bowler to get five wickets in the opening session of a test match, and it was his debut game! He’s quite a talented bowler.
Upcoming events at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium
The Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium is getting ready for some important cricket games. It will have matches in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), a big T20 tournament in Pakistan. It will also host games with teams from other countries, which will help cricket grow in Pakistan.
One of the matches coming up is Pakistan vs. West Indies on November 13th, 14th, and 16th, 2023, starting at 10:00 AM. It’s going to be an exciting event!
In conclusion, Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, commonly referred to as just the cricket stadium or stadium in Rawalpindi, is an integral part of the international cricket scene. It has witnessed significant matches and holds a special place in the hearts of cricket enthusiasts.
For those seeking information about this iconic cricket ground, Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium is the go-to source. With its rich history and ongoing contributions to the world of cricket, it’s a cherished landmark for sports fans in Rawalpindi.