September 10, 2011


Let's rename the Gaddafi Stadium

Andrew Hughes
The pink ball was used for the first time in English first-class cricket in Durham's game against MCC, MCC v Durham, Abu Dhabi, March 29, 2010
A cricketer mistakes a blown-up candy-floss flavoured bubble gum for a cricket ball  © PA Photos


Wednesday, 7th September There are many strange stories in our great game, but few are stranger than the Legend of the Pink Balls. Long ago, back in the mists of time, men first spoke of cricket balls that were unlike any other. They were spherical, that much is true. They had a stitchy bit around the middle. You could rub them on your trousers. And if you dropped one on your little toe, you hopped around making strange sweary noises for a couple of minutes, just like with normal cricket balls.

But these balls were different. They were pink. Pinker than a fuschia blancmange served in the back of the Pink Panther’s pink Cadillac. No one really knew why they were pink. But the legend was that one day, perhaps before the next ice age, they would be used in a Test match and that when that happened, the night sky would be lit up by floodlights and the people would come in their thousands to marvel. Will the legend ever come true? Or is just a fairy story for schoolchildren and journalists?

Thursday, 8th September Life is full of surprises. Who’d have thought that naming a stadium after a brutal dictator would eventually turn out to be a bit of a PR problem? After all, no one complained when Lahore City Council unveiled the Genghis Khan Equestrian Centre or when they inaugurated the Emperor Nero Leisure Centre. But with the man himself currently hiding somewhere in North Africa, disguised as a cactus, it’s probably time to think about a new name for the Gaddafi Stadium.

The Imran Khan Stadium has a nice ring to it. Or perhaps a senior cricket administrator might be persuaded to retire in exchange for having a venue named after him: the Butt Bowl anyone? Still, I think we can do even better. I am starting a petition to persuade the PCB to rename the place after Pakistan’s greatest cricket export. No, not the doosra. I’m talking about the Jhang Justice himself, the unflappable arbiter with the immaculate coiffure and the steely gaze. Ladies and gentleman, I give you: the Aleem Dar Arena. Let’s make it happen.

Friday, 9th September Lots of people don’t understand John Buchanan. They snigger when he gets out his Big Book Of Thinking or when he reads a Klingon haiku. It is often the fate of the genius to be mocked by his contemporaries. Lots of people criticised General Custer and his “charge headlong in this direction and see what happens” strategy. But 135 years on, guess what? No one remembers them and Custer is a household name.

In appointing 50% of New Zealand’s selection panel, Big J didn’t go just left field. He climbed up onto his imaginary unicorn and rode it right the way across to the other side of the left field, skipped through the magical forest where the leprechauns live and followed the yellow brick road over the hills and far away to pixie land. And what were the pixies doing when he got there? They were playing bowls.

High performance lawn bowls, to be exact. But in case you’re worried, New Zealand fans, be reassured. Kim Littlejohn may not be able to pick Brendon McCullum out of a line-up but he is skilled in “performance focussed management” and “cultural change”. And by picking a squad full of players capable of trundling the ball along the ground slowly, he can help the Black Caps to take sweet revenge. Remember Trevor Chappell? Remember 1981? Well, soon it will be payback time.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

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Posted by chris on (September 20, 2011, 1:14 GMT)

I've always thought Gaddafi looked remarkably like Imran Khan, so perhaps it wouldn't be that much of a change.

Posted by RANA KHALID LUQMAN on (September 13, 2011, 8:07 GMT)

HAVE A GOOD DAY ALL THE PAKISTANIES.its a matter of shame for all those people who always fins such opportunities of making nuecece in our country,changeing the name of a cricket stadium is not a big deal ,matter is that why so earlly such people change their attitude abt a islamic countrt libya,its not a long days stories when pakistani people and rulers of countries get fell proud to vist and making relation with libian govt and their sources,

Posted by waterbuffalo on (September 11, 2011, 17:32 GMT)

I vote it should renamed the Kim Jong Il Stadium.

Posted by ibadullah on (September 11, 2011, 7:10 GMT)

I suggest the name of the stadium should be SAFI Stadium instead of Gaddafi,

Posted by the the on (September 11, 2011, 7:06 GMT)

Peace park garden

Posted by Zaheer Maqbool on (September 11, 2011, 7:06 GMT)

The name of Gaddafi Stadium was alloted by our Shaheed Z A Bhutto, so this name should not be changed, and Lybian politics is their internal problem so please do not mix politics and sports.

Posted by ATIFA on (September 11, 2011, 7:00 GMT)

gaddafi stadium should be named as AFRIDI arene or Haneef mohammad stadium

Posted by bretmus on (September 11, 2011, 7:00 GMT)

Should be called the Meher stadium after Meher Mohammad Khalil, the bus driver who saved the lives of the Sri Lankan cricket team

Posted by Muhammad Akmal on (September 11, 2011, 6:58 GMT)

Imran Khan Stadium is the best choice ever

Posted by Jaan Mohd on (September 11, 2011, 6:46 GMT)

The name should remain as Qaddafi stadium, He was a hero at that time and he developed Libya.

if we changed it Imran Khan Or Aleem Dar and next in couple of years they are involed in any scam then what we will do at time ,,,, Change it again..

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Andrew Hughes
Andrew Hughes is a writer and avid cricket watcher who has always retained a healthy suspicion of professional sportsmen, and like any right-thinking person rates Neville Cardus more highly than Don Bradman. His latest book is available here and here @hughandrews73

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