LAHORE: (Ch Mudassar Iqbal):First-class cricket is the most important tier for development and sustenance in any cricket playing nation and almost all Test playing nations have prestigious first-class competitions, which provide an identity to the domestic cricket played in that particular country.
In Pakistan’s domestic system, the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy holds that value and honour. The first-ever first-class match in Pakistan was played from 27-29 December — a few months after Independence — when Sindh and Punjab faced-off at the Bagh-e-Jinnah Ground in Lahore, said the information made available here on Wednesday by the Pakistan Cricket Board.
The loosely-knitted first-class cricket structure helped Pakistan in jotting down the squad for the maiden Test tour – which was in 1952 to India – in which the Abdul Hafeez Kardar-led side registered the country’s first win in the format.
Ahead of the tour of England, however, there was a need for a structured first-class competition which could help gauge the skill-level of the available talent in the country.
This gave birth to the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy – named after Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who spearheaded the movement for independence – and its first edition was held in the 1953-54 season.