Now that the man’s gone, the name may soon follow. The Punjab Olympic Association has asked the provincial chief minister to rename the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, in keeping with increasing public opinion against associating the historic venue with the former Libyan dictator. The ground was originally called Lahore Stadium but was renamed following Gaddafi’s visit to Pakistan in 1974. Now it’s time to change things back, says association secretary Idrees Haider Khawaja. “I don’t think his profile is inspirational enough to link with our cricket stadium’s identity,” Khawaja told ESPNcricinfo.
No, I guess it’s not, any more. I further guess that they called it the Gaddafi Stadium because they were inspired by a flow of money from Gaddafi, to such persons as those who took it in turns to be Punjab’s provincial chief minister, and that this source of inspiration has now dried up, what with Gaddafi being killed and all.
In other words, the reason he Gaddafi Stadium won’t be the Gaddafi Stadium any more is the same reason that the Oval, just across the Thames from where I live in London, was called the Brit Oval, but is now not. In the case of the Oval, it was all out in the open. In Lahore, the arrangement was, I surmise, somewhat more hidden. Which puts news like this, about bent Pakistani cricketers being jailed, into its national context. (I wrote about that here (good comments on that one also) when that story first emerged.)
It will be interesting to see what they decide to call the Gaddafi Stadium next.