What is the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in cricket?

The Quaid-e-Azam Trophy is the premier first class cricket competition of Pakistan. It began in 1952 and has been played annually. As of 2024, eight regional teams compete in the tournament. The eight teams are Faisalabad, Karachi, Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Karachi Whites, Lahore Blues, Lahore Whites, Multan, Peshawar, Rawalpindi.

The tournament follows a round-robin format in the group stage. The top two teams in the group stage qualify for the final. Teams get 16 points for an outright win, 5 points for a draw, 8 points for a tie, and 5 points for an abandoned match.

In addition to this, teams also get bonus points based on their batting and bowling performances. In the first 100 overs of their innings, if a team scores 200, 250, 300, 350, or 400 runs, then thet get 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 points respectively.

If bowlers are able to get 3, 6, or 8 wickets in the first 100 overs, then the team gets 1, 2, and 3 points respectively. Getting a team all-out in the first 100 overs with the batting side score less than 200, 250, or 300 runs gives the bowling side bonus points worth 3, 2, or 1 respectively.

Bonus points are also awarded based on the margin of victory. A win by an innings’ margin gives 1 bonus point, a match saved after a follow-on was imposed gives the team 1 bonus point, and a match win despite the follow-on being imposed is worth 2 points. At the end of the league stage, the top two teams contest the final.

Historically, regional teams from Karachi have been the most successful sides. Karachi Blues have tasted title wins on nine instances, the most by any team. Pakistan International Airlines are the next best side with seven wins.

The most successful batter in a single season has been Kamran Ghulam, who struck 1249 runs in the 2020-21 season. In 1974, the team of Sind declared on 951 runs at the loss of 7 wickets which remains the record for the highest total in an innings at the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. Dacca University and Education Board’s total of 29 in 1965 remains the lowest total.

In 1959, Hanif Mohammad played a knock that saw him score 499 runs, which remained the highest individual score in first class cricket till 1994. 2010 saw a unique feat, where Lahore Shalimar’s Kashif Mahmood caught 12 catches as a wicket-keeper in a single match.

Quaid-e-Azam Trophy this serves as a pathway for Pakistani players to make it to their national team’s test side.

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