Karachi - Sports

Sports

Cricket in Pakistan has a history of even before the creation of the country in 1947. The first ever international cricket match in Karachi was held on November 22, 1935 between Sindhi and Australian cricket teams. The match was seen by 5000 Karachites. It is also the most popular sport in Karachi today, which is played in many small grounds around the city, as well as on city streets at night and on weekends. Gully cricket is played in the narrow by-lanes of the city.

The National Stadium is the city's only world-class cricket stadium, and is the second largest cricket stadium in Pakistan, after the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. The inaugural first-class match at the National Stadium was played between Pakistan and India on 26 February 1955 and since then Pakistani national cricket team has won 20 of the 41 Test matches played at the National Stadium. The first One Day International at the National Stadium was against the West Indies on 21 November 1980, with the match going to the last ball.

The national team has been less successful in such limited-overs matches at the ground, including a five-year stint between 1996 and 2001, when they failed to win any matches. The city has been host to a number of domestic cricket teams including Karachi, Karachi Blues, Karachi Greens, and Karachi Whites. The National Stadium hosted two group matches (Pakistan v. South Africa on 29 February and Pakistan v. England on 3 March), and a quarter-final match (South Africa v. West Indies on 11 March) during the 1996 Cricket World Cup.

The city has hosted seven editions of the National Games of Pakistan, most recently in 2007. Sports like badminton, volleyball, and basketball are popular in schools and colleges. Football is especially popular in Lyari Town, which has a large Afro-Balochi community and has always been a football-mad locality in Karachi. The Peoples Football Stadium is perhaps the largest football stadium in Pakistan with respect to capacity, easily accommodating around 40,000 people.

In 2005, the city hosted the SAFF Championship at this ground, as well as the Geo Super Football League 2007, which attracted capacity crowds during the games. The popularity of golf is also increasing, with clubs in Karachi like Dreamworld Resort, Hotel & Golf Club, Arabian Sea Country Club, DA Country & Golf Club. The city has facilities for field hockey (the Hockey Club of Pakistan, UBL Hockey Ground), boxing (KPT Sports Complex), squash (Jahangir Khan Squash Complex), and polo. There are marinas and boating clubs.

Professional Karachi teams
Club League Sport Venue Established
Karachi Dolphins Faysal Bank T20 Cup Cricket National Stadium 2004
Karachi Zebras Faysal Bank T20 Cup Cricket National Stadium 2004
Karachi Energy SFL Football Peoples Football Stadium 2007
Karachi HBL FC PPL Football Peoples Football Stadium 1975

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