The Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, named after Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi, is set to be renamed, the Pakistan Cricket Board have confirmed
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Pakistan cricket chief Ramiz Raja has revealed that the PCB are set to rename the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
The ground was previously known as the Lahore Stadium, before being renamed in honor of Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi in 1974. Pakistan’s then Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto decided to make the gesture after Gaddafi visited Lahore and gave his support to Pakistan’s desire for Nuclear weapons.
Gaddafi seized power in Libya in 1969 after leading a military coup and remained in power until 2011. During that year’s Arab Spring, anti-government protests began across North Africa and the Middle East against authoritarian regimes.
Libya was one of the countries which protested against their leader and Gaddafi was ultimately deposed and killed. Following his death of him, there were calls for the stadium to be renamed but nothing materialized.
However, that is now set to change with the PCB planning to rename the stadium as part of a sponsorship deal. Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, PCB chairman Raja confirmed such plans are in place, but insisted it is a purely financial decision rather than a political one.
“We acquired the services of YouGov to estimate the brand worth of our stadia, and how much sponsorship deals would be worth,” Raja said. “That’s not just true of the Gaddafi Stadium, but also the NSK and others.
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“We’ve been working towards this for a while, and the response from sponsors has been satisfactory. Once we finalise a deal [for Lahore]the name Gaddafi will go completely, with a sponsor’s name replacing it. “
Raja’s announcement comes as the PCB look to increase their revenue, with the board also revealing that they could make changes to the Pakistan Super League in a bid to match the Indian Premier League’s financial clout. “We need to create new properties to be financially independent,” Raja said.
“We have nothing for now but the PSL and ICC funds. There’s an argument over the model from next year; I want to switch it to an auction model from next year.
“The market forces are conducive, but we’ll sit down with the franchise owners to discuss it. This is a game of money. When the cricket economy grows in Pakistan, our respect will rise. The main driver of that financial economy is the PSL.
“If we take the PSL to auction model, increase the purse, then I’ll put it in the IPL bracket. And then we’ll see who goes to play the IPL over the PSL.”