Tuesday, October 04, 2022
The craze for cricket has always been effervescent in Pakistan. However, the recent seven-match Twenty20 International home series against England demonstrates that the sport has fully resurrected from its ashes. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has insights to back up its assertions.
Cricket at the home ground nearly ceased after a shocking setback it received when the Sri Lanka cricket team came under a terrorist attack on March 3, 2009. The world teams shied away from playing in Pakistan. Hence, the floodlights of the country's sports grounds went off.
However, the Pakistani cricket board has been able to turn this around thanks to the unflappable resilience of the Pakistani people.
The PCB statistics show that the sport-loving fans welcomed the England series and packed the stadium in such a large number that they made history. They were eager to watch live action at their home stadium.
Sharing the welcome news with the cricket fans, the board said 97.35 per cent of crowd attendance for any series is the highest ever in the history of Pakistan cricket.
At least 63,045 spectators watched the Lahore leg of the T20I series between Pakistan and England at the Gaddafi Stadium, the PCB said. It makes 99.4 per cent attendance during three matches at the Lahore ground.
The breakdown of the spectator turnout is: 20,969 people watched the 5th match at the stadium; 21,076 spectators showed up at the stadium for the 6th T20I; and 21,100 people viewed the 7th T20I at the Lahore ground.
The board relates a similar success story of an unexpectedly huge turnout at the Karachi stadium during the first four matches. The board said 26,550 cricket buffs witnessed the first four T20Is at the National Stadium. The massive turnout showed 95.3 per cent attendance in the Karachi leg matches.
According to the PCB, 189,595 spectators passed through turnstiles in Karachi and Lahore to watch the seven T20Is. The number makes up 97.35 per cent of the crowd attendances.
A sublime fifty from Dawid Malan and three wickets for Chris Woakes guided England to a thumping 67-run win over Pakistan in the seventh Twenty20 in Lahore on Sunday as they clinched the series 4-3 in a major boost ahead of the World Cup.
Chasing 210, Pakistan suffered a double blow when captain Babar Azam (4) and Mohammad Rizwan (1) departed in quick succession as England's pace attack made early inroads and reduced the hosts to 33-3 under the lights at Gaddafi Stadium.
Shan Masood put up some resistance with a fighting 56 but England, led by Woakes (3-26), kept chipping away with regular wickets. David Willey returned figures of 2-22 while Reece Topley, Adil Rashid and Sam Curran picked up a wicket each.