Gadddafi Stadium hosts Eid prayers

Former Pakistan captain, Intikhab Alam. believes the huge Eid prayers gathering assembled at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Friday was the first of its kind in the region.

by BIPIN DANI

A panaromic view of Gaddafi at night

A panaromic view of Gaddafi at night (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The prayers were led by Hafiz Saeed, India’s most wanted terrorist and the man believed to have masterminded the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai where a total of 166 people were killed in November 2008.

Despite India’s repeated requests that he be brought to justice and a $10 million bounty on his head, Saeed remains a free man in Pakistan.

“I am not aware about his (Saeed) presence but I don’t recollect any Eid prayers or gatherings have ever taken place in the past at this Stadium,” Alam stated.

The Stadium is known only for hosting cricket matches and, unlike Lord’s or the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, no social gatherings or marriages take place at this Stadium”, he further added.

Pakistan’s largest cricket Stadium, having a capacity of 60,000 spectators, hosted the 1990 Hockey World Cup Final, where the hosts were defeated 3–1 by the Netherlands. It has also hosted the 1996 Cricket World Cup match.

In 2011 the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had discussed the renaming the stadium following the death of Colonel Gaddafi,but the proposal was not favored by the members.

Sadly, on 3 March 2009, the visting Sri Lankan team was attacked by terrorists near the Stadium. Eight members of the Sri Lankan team and few match-officials were injured, including Lanka captain, Mahela Jayawardene. The team had to be air-lifted from Gaddafi Stadium to a nearby airbase, from where they were evacuated back to Sri Lanka.

No international team has been willing to visit Pakistan since then.

The fans in Pakistan must be hoping for a change of fortune after the recent Eid prayers, however Said’s involvement will have done little to calm tensions.

James Buttler

James has been working as a journalist and broadcaster in cricket since 2006 and was an avid fan for many years before that.
As the editor of World Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
He is also the presenter of the Cricket Badger Radio Show on Radio Yorkshire every Tuesday evening between 7-9pm UK time.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author, a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications and a complete cricket badger!

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