Cricket Stadiums in Pakistan – List of the Biggest International Grounds

There’s always a great atmosphere when you watch cricket from Pakistan. Of course, the supporters help to create that buzz, but the venues play their part too. Here is a round up of cricket stadiums in Pakistan.

How Many International Cricket Stadiums are there in Pakistan?

At present, there are around 17 cricket stadiums in Pakistan. There is the potential for new grounds to be constructed while others may stop being used by the national team.

The total can, therefore, be fluid but the figure of 17 is generally accepted as of 2023.

Biggest Pakistan International Cricket Stadiums

Arbab Niaz Stadium – Peshawar – 35,000

The largest cricket ground in Pakistan is the Arbab Niaz Stadium in Peshawar. Opened in 1984, it has a capacity that can reach up to 35,000. The venue hosted its first international game in November of that year as Pakistan played India in a One Day International.

In regards to test cricket, it would be another 11 years before the Arbab Niaz saw an international red ball match. This time, Sri Lanka were the opposition for a test that took place in September 1995.

Unfortunately, due to terrorist attacks, this is one of a number of cricket grounds in Pakistan that has lost out on hosting international cricket for the time being. There’s always a lively atmosphere here and it’s hoped that there will be regular games again in the future.

National Cricket Stadium – Karachi – 34,000

This may be the most familiar ground for cricket fans watching from outside Pakistan. The National Cricket Stadium in Karachi has a healthy capacity of its own with accommodation for just over 34,000 spectators.

The National Stadium was opened in 1955 and was designed to replace the city’s outdated Gymkhana ground which had a limited capacity. Pakistan have an exceptional record in tests here and, from the first game in 1956, it took until 2001 before they lost a red ball game at this location.

One Day Internationals and T20is have also been hosted here and, now that touring teams are tentatively returning, we are seeing the National Stadium in Karachi back on the ICC calendar.

National Cricket Stadium - Karachi
National Cricket Stadium – Karachi

Multan Cricket Stadium – Multan – 30,000

The Multan Stadium is up next, as far as capacity goes. Up to 30,000 spectators can be accommodated here in a venue that was opened as recently as 2001. In the inaugural international match at this ground, Pakistan took on Bangladesh in a test match in August of that year.

The Multan Stadium has yet to host a T20 international at the time of writing, but there have been ODI matches, starting with a contest between Pakistan and Bangladesh in 2003.

Day / night games can also be accommodated thanks to the installation of floodlights and the Multan Stadium has also recently returned to the schedules of overseas touring sides.

Gaddafi Stadium – Lahore – 27,000

This ground was previously known as the Lahore Stadium and it was opened in 1959. It was redeveloped ahead of the 1996 World Cup and, in the final, the Gaddafi Stadium set an exceptional record when 62,645 attended the game between Australia and Sri Lanka.

In the present day, the capacity of this venue is far more modest at 27,000 but those fans can still create a great atmosphere for the bigger matches. The Gaddafi Stadium first hosted an international game in 1959 as Pakistan took on the visiting Australians. One Day Internationals followed in 1978 and this ground remains a regular location for all Pakistan fixtures, both for the women’s and the men’s teams.

Gaddafi Stadium - Lahore
Gaddafi Stadium – Lahore

Jinnah Stadium – Gujranwala – 20,000

As one of two venues in Pakistan with a healthy capacity of 20,000, the Jinnah Stadium in Gujranwala has been occasionally used by the national side. The ground opened in 1958, but it would have to wait 33 years for its first taste of international cricket.

Pakistan hosted Sri Lanka in a test match in 1991 and, to date, this is the only red ball international game to have taken place at the Jinnah Stadium. There have been a handful of ODI games to add with the first of these taking place in 1982, but there hasn’t been an international match of any kind here since 2000.

The venue played a part of the great spectacle that was the 1996 World Cup, but it currently seems to be off the radar of the governing body in Pakistan.

Ayub National Stadium – Quetta – 20,000

The Ayub National Stadium in Quetta has also stopped hosting international matches at the time of writing. The Balochistan team plays here, but its location, in one of the more troubled areas of the country, makes it an issue moving forward.

With a healthy capacity of 20,000, there is scope for a return to the Ayub National Stadium at some stage in the future. It has yet to host a test match and only a handful of One Day International games were held here between 1978 and 1984.

Ayub National Stadium - Quetta
Ayub National Stadium – Quetta

Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium – Rawalpindi – 18,000

The Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium remains on the international calendar and is likely to play an important hosting role in future Pakistan games. With a healthy current capacity of 18,000, the venue was opened in 1992 and its first ever test match took place a year later as Pakistan hosted Zimbabwe.

An inaugural One Day International had been played a year earlier as Pakistan took on Sri Lanka in 1992, while the venue has also been hosting T20is since 2020. Located just a few miles outside of the capital Islamabad, the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium is the most important venue in Punjab province and it’s likely to feature heavily as the sport returns to Pakistan.

Pindi Cricket Stadium in PSL V
Pindi Cricket Stadium

Ibn-e-Qasim Bagh Stadium – Multan – 18,000

The Ibn-e-Qasim Bagh Stadium in Multan was opened in 1975 and it was originally known as the Old Fort Stadium. It has a good capacity of 18,000, but its close proximity to the Multan Stadium means that it hasn’t seen much international cricket.

In fact, only one test match has taken place on this ground. The game in question was between Pakistan and the West Indies in 1980 and the occasion was lit up by a century from the great Viv Richards. A handful of ODIs have also been held at the Ibn-e-Qasim Bagh Stadium between 1982 and 1994, but there seems little prospect of any future international matches.

Iqbal Stadium – Faisalabad – 18,000

Another ground that is not currently being used for international cricket matches is the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad. As I write this in early 2023, the last game played by Pakistan here was a One Day International against Bangladesh in 2008.

Like a lot of venues that I’ve mentioned here, the Iqbal Stadium suffers because there is so much choice in other parts of the country. The capacity is fine at 18,000 and there could still be an option here for the PCB moving forward.

For reference, the Iqbal Stadium hosted its first test match as Pakistan took on India in 1978. Its debut One Day International followed in 1984 when New Zealand were the visitors.

Iqbal Stadium - Faisalabad
Iqbal Stadium – Faisalabad

Bugti Stadium – Quetta – 17,000

Completing our list of significant cricket grounds in Pakistan is the Bugti Stadium in Quetta. It’s also located in Balochistan and that’s one of the reasons why there has been very little international cricket within its walls.

In fact, the ground has held just one solitary One Day International in its entire history. That game took place in October 1996 as Pakistan played Zimbabwe.

It was opened in 1954 and it has a capacity of 17,000, so there is scope for a return if it’s safe to do so, and the PCB feels that it needs more venues to accommodate future tournaments or touring sides.

Final Thoughts

It really is great to see international cricket returning to Pakistan and we can only hope that the country enjoys a peaceful period moving forward. Without meaning any disrespect to venues in the UAE, they simply can’t attract the same level of support, and the atmosphere suffers as a result.

Fans will add a buzz to any fixture, but these are spectacular venues and it’s really encouraging to see them back on the circuit. Like all countries, Pakistan has a select range of regular venues, but there are additional options that it can return to in the future.