Bugti Stadium enclosures to be named after modern-day stars

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Pakistan’s most celebrated woman cricketer, Sana Mir, most successful Test captain, Misbah-ul-Haq, leading Test batter, Younis Khan, and an all-format star, Shahid Afridi, are amongst 10 former international cricketers who will be honoured by having the Bugti Stadium enclosures in their names, the Pakistan Cricket Board announced today.

The other six cricketers are: Kiran Baluch, Mohammad Yousuf, Saeed Ajmal, Saqlain Mushtaq, Shoaib Khan and Shoaib Malik.

The enclosures were named after these cricketers in recognition of their contributions and services to Pakistan cricket, which also aligns with the PCB’s plans and drive to improve, uplift and enhance spectator and playing facilities at the Bugti Stadium in preparation of the venue being made to host future high-profile matches.

Chair of the PCB Management Committee, Najam Sethi: “The contributions of these 10 cricketers are meritorious and it is important that we recognise their achievements and accomplishments by naming Bugti Stadium stands in their names. This will be PCB’s small token of appreciation to these players, which will also help in creating awareness about Pakistan stars and game development in the Balochistan province. These 10 cricketers are household names and, admired and followed by all generations of cricket lovers.

“The inclusion of Kiran Baluch and Sana Mir reflects the PCB’s vision and endeavours for women’s empowerment and attracting young girls to take up this great game and represent their country at the international stage. I am sure we will get to see more girls taking up this sport in Balochistan and the PCB will leave no stone unturned to develop the women’s game in this region.”

Sana Mir said: “I am honoured that a stand will be named after me in the Bugti Stadium. May this gesture from the PCB and the example of Nahida Khan, who has been one of the shining stars from Quetta, inspire more young women to become cricketers. We need more girls playing the game of cricket and demonstrate that we believe in equal opportunities for women and men.”

Shahid Afridi added: “I am thankful to the PCB for bestowing me with this honour. I always felt privileged, motivated and determined to play my best cricket at venues that had the names of some of the biggest stars in our sport. I sincerely hope the next generation of Quetta cricketers will find the same motivation when playing at the Bugti Stadium that, in turn, will enhance their appetite to break into the national framework.”

PCB’s five other international venues, including the Gaddafi Stadium (Lahore), Iqbal Stadium (Faisalabad), Multan Cricket Stadium (Multan), National Bank Cricket Arena (Karachi) and Pindi Cricket Stadium (Rawalpindi) already have enclosure named after former international cricketers.

About the 10 international cricketers:

Kiran Baluch – Kiran played three Tests and 40 ODIs from 1997 to 2004. She scored 242 against the West Indies women at the National Stadium in March 2004, which is still a world record

Misbah-ul-Haq – Misbah captained Pakistan in most Tests (56) and won 26, more than any other Pakistan Test captain, 87 ODIs and eight T20Is. He led Pakistan to the number-one spot in the ICC Test Championship in 2016 and was a member of the squad that won the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2009

Mohammad Yousuf – Yousuf is a world-record holder for most Test runs in a calendar year (1,788 runs in 11 Tests with nine centuries), which earned him the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year award for 2007. In a 90-Test and 288-ODI career from 1998 to 2010, the elegant right-handed batter scored 7,530 and 9,720 runs, respectively

Saeed Ajmal – In 212 international matches, the off-spinner took 447 wickets, including 178 in Tests, 184 in ODIs and 85 in T20Is. He was a member of the squad that won the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2009.

Sana Mir – In a 15-year career, she played 226 internationals, including 137 as captain from 2009 to 2017. In October 2018, she peaked to number-one on ICC Women’s Rankings for ODI Bowlers and was named as captain of Wisden’s Women’s Team of the Decade. She is a member of the ICC Women’s Committee

Saqlain Mushtaq – The inventor of doosra, Saqlain took 208 Test and 288 ODI wickets in 49 Tests and 169 ODIs, respectively. He was one of Wisden Cricketers of the Year for 2000.

Shahid Afridi – Shahid Afridi stroked the then fast ODI century off 37 balls in his second match, took a five-fer on his Test debut and followed up with a century against India in Chennai. In 524 international matches, he scored 11,196 runs and took 541 wickets. He was a member of the squad that won the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2009.

Shoaib Khan – Born in Bostan, a town outside Quetta, Shoaib is the only men’s cricketer from the Balochistan province to represent Pakistan. He featured in four T20Is in Canada in 2008. He played 65 first-class and 22 T20 matches, scoring 3,695 runs and 533 runs, respectively

Shoaib Malik – The all-rounder played 35 Tests, 287 ODIs and 124 T20Is, accumulating 11,867 runs and taking 218 wickets. He was Pakistan captain in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2007 where his side reached the final and was at the crease with Shahid Afridi when Pakistan achieved the 139-run victory target to win the 2009 final at Lord’s

Younis Khan – Younis Khan is a PCB Hall of Famer, who featured in third most Tests for Pakistan (118) in which he accumulated most Test runs for Pakistan (10,099) and scored most Test centuries (34). He played in four ICC Men’s Cricket World Cups from 2003-2015 and finished his 265-match ODI career with 7,249 runs with seven centuries.  He captained Pakistan to their first world title in 17 years when he lifted the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2009 trophy at Lord’s.