With Pakistan playing at Lord’s this week, MCC Archivist Robert Curphey explores previous appearances by the nation at the Home of Cricket.
After they were acquired Test status by the Imperial Cricket Conference (now International Cricket Council) in 1952, Pakistan toured England for the first time two years later, under the captaincy of Abdul Kardar.
Pakistan’s very first Test match in this country was played at the Home of Cricket on 10-15 June 1954, and the match was drawn thanks to the weather; there was no play at all in the first three days of the match and the game did not start until 3.45 pm on day four – meaning that the traditional Royal visit to Lord’s did not happen, both teams being presented at Buckingham Place instead.
Despite the lack of play, there was enough time for Khan Mohammed to take 5 wickets for 61 runs in England’s first innings, making him the first Pakistan cricketer to take his place on the honours board when they were produced by MCC in the winter of 1991-1992. The four Test series ended in a draw with Pakistan claiming their first Test victory on English soil at The Oval in 1954.
The archive holds administrative correspondence between MCC and the Board of Control for Cricket in Pakistan relating to the historic tour including arrangements for their four matches at Lord’s against MCC, England, Middlesex and Canada who were also touring England in 1954, and in 2013, MCC acquired a folder of items relating to this inaugural tour which were placed on display in the Museum as part of the Pakistan exhibition in 2016, such as newspaper cuttings, reports, programmes, fixture cards and photographs.
Pakistan’s first Test victory at Lord’s came on their seventh attempt in 1982, defeating England by 10 wickets under the captaincy of Imran Khan.
The match was notable for a sensational opening innings of 200 by Mohsin Khan – who became the first Pakistan batsman to make a double century at Lord’s (Mohammad Yousuf was the second with 202 in 2006).
Pakistan declared on 428 for 8 in their first innings and then bowled England out for 227, Abdul Qadir the pick of the bowlers with 4 for 39. Following on, England made a further 276 leaving Pakistan to obtain the required 76 for victory. Mudassar Nazar took 6 for 32 – the best bowling figures by any Pakistan bowler at Lord’s.
The Test match was historic for Lord’s as it was the 74th Test match played at the ground, which at the time enabled the venue to equal the record held by the Melbourne Cricket Ground. This match was also significant in that it was the first time that Sunday play had been permitted at Lord’s during a Test match.
In total, Pakistan have played 14 Tests against England at Lord’s and have won 4, drawn 6 and lost 4 against England, meaning that the victor of May’s Test will then have a winning record against their opponents at the Home of Cricket.
Pakistan’s other Test victories came in 1992, 1997 and 2016, the abiding memory being the scenes at the end with the Pakistan side performing push-ups on the outfield following their victory as a tribute to their captain Misbah-ul-Haq, who after Khan, Javed Miandad and Wasim Akram was the fourth different captain to win a Test match at Lord’s.
Pakistan also played a Test match against Australia in 2010 as part of the MCC Spirit of Cricket Test Series, and they also famously won the ICC World Twenty20 tournament in England in 2009, defeating Sri Lanka by 8 wickets, having earlier defeated the Netherlands at the same venue in the group stages.
Can they make more special memories at the Home of Cricket? We at Lord’s are all looking forward to finding out.