Ireland cricket team
The Ireland cricket team represents all of Ireland. They participate in Test, One Day International and Twenty20 International matches, they are the 11th Full Member of the International Cricket Council, having been awarded Test status, along with Afghanistan, on 22 June 2017. Ireland are ranked 12th in ODI cricket. Since they have gone on to play 137 ODIs, resulting in 60 victories, 67 defeats, 7 no results, 3 ties. Contracts for players were introduced in 2009, marking the transition to becoming a professional team. Cricket Ireland is the sport's governing body in Ireland. Cricket was introduced to Ireland in the 19th century, the first match played by an Ireland team was in 1855. Ireland toured Canada and the United States in the late 19th century, hosted matches against touring sides. Rivalry with the Scotland national cricket team was established when the teams first played each other in 1888. Ireland's maiden first-class match was played in 1902. In 1993 the Irish Cricket Union, the predecessor to Cricket Ireland, was elected to the ICC as an Associate member.
Associates are the next level of team below those. Due to their successes in the Intercontinental Cup and at the World Cup, they were labelled the "leading Associate" and stated their intention to become a full member by 2020; this intention was realised in June 2017, when the ICC unanimously decided to award Ireland and Afghanistan full Test status, which allows them to participate in Test matches. Ireland qualified for the Cricket World Cup for the first time in 2007, has since played in the 2011 and 2015 tournaments, they qualified for the 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014 World Twenty20 competitions. Ireland play international cricket in the ICC Intercontinental Cup, which they have won four times since 2005, including the most recent competition in 2013. Cricket was introduced to Ireland by the English in the towns of Kilkenny and Ballinasloe in the early 19th century. In the 1830s, the game began to spread; the first Irish national team played in 1855 against The Gentlemen of England in Dublin. In the 1850s, the Englishman Charles Lawrence was responsible for developing the game in Ireland through his coaching.
In the 1850s and 1860s, Ireland was visited for the first time by touring professional teams. Ireland's first match against Marylebone Cricket Club was in 1858; the game gained popularity until the early 1880s. The land war in the 1880s resulting from the Irish Land Commission and a ban on playing "foreign" games, in practice, British, by the Gaelic Athletic Association set back the spread of cricket; the ban was lifted in 1970, before anyone playing foreign games, such as cricket was banned from the Irish games such as hurling and Gaelic football. Irish teams toured Canada and the US in 1879, 1888, 1892, 1909. On top of this, Ireland defeated a touring South African side in 1904, their first match with first-class status was played on 19 May 1902 against a London County side including W. G. Grace; the Irish, captained by Sir Tim O'Brien, won convincingly by 238 runs. After the 1902 tour of England, where four matches yielded one win, two draws and one loss, Ireland did not play first-class cricket again for five years.
Although the team had lost to the South Africans in 1894 – Ireland's first match against a Test-playing nation – Ireland defeated South Africa in 1904. In 1909, the first annual first-class match between Ireland and Scotland was held, an annual match against the MCC was arranged from 1924 onwards; the Irish played yearly first-class matches with the Scots, only interrupted by world wars, until 1999, but all their other cricket depended upon touring international sides finding it convenient to include a visit to Ireland in their schedules. However, Ireland sometimes surprised Test nations on these occasions, beating the West Indies by 60 runs in a three-day match in Dublin in 1928, for example. In 1969, in a match played at Sion Mills in County Tyrone, the team defeated a West Indian side including Clive Lloyd and Clyde Walcott by nine wickets, after bowling them out for 25; this was the last time Ireland defeated a touring side until 2003, when they beat Zimbabwe by ten wickets. The Scots and the Irish were competing with Sri Lanka for the title as the best non-Test nation at the time – indeed, Ireland drew with Sri Lanka in a rain-hit first-class match in 1979, Ireland scoring a total of 341 for 7 in two innings, while Sri Lanka made 288 for 6 in one innings.
Ireland, along with Scotland and the Netherlands, has at times played in competitions for English county cricket sides, including the Benson & Hedges Cup and the Friends Provident Trophy. Since there is no nationality restriction in county cricket, non-Irish people were allowed to compete for Ireland in these matches. For example, Hansie Cronje of South Africa played for Ireland in 1997, as did New Zealander Jesse Ryder in 2007. Ireland joined the ICC as an Associate member in a year before Scotland; this meant Ireland could play in the ICC Trophy for the first time in 1994, they finished seventh in the tournament. Three years they progressed to the semi-finals of the competition but lost the third place play-off with Scotland, thus missing a place at the 1999 cricket World Cup. Ireland finished eighth in the 2001 tournament. After this, Adrian Birrell was hired as coach. With the introduction of the ICC Intercontinental Cup in 2004, Ireland had a chance to play first-class on a regular basis.
After failing to progress beyond the group st
2003 Cricket World Cup
The 2003 Cricket World Cup was the eighth Cricket World Cup, organized by the International Cricket Council. It was co-hosted by South Africa and Kenya from 9 February to 23 March 2003; this edition of the World Cup was the first to be played in Africa. The tournament featured 14 teams, the largest number in the World Cup's history at the time, playing a total of 54 matches, it followed the format introduced in the 1999 Cricket World Cup, with the teams divided into two groups, the top three in each group qualifying for the Super Sixes stage. The tournament saw numerous upsets, with South Africa, West Indies and England all being eliminated at the group stage. England forfeited their match with Zimbabwe, due to the political unrest in the country, which enabled that team to reach the Super Sixes. New Zealand forfeited their match with Kenya, due to security reasons which enabled the latter to reach the semi-finals, the only non-Test playing nation to do so. Another shock wave came two days after the tournament had started, when Shane Warne, at the time one of the game's leading spinners, was sent home in disgrace after testing positive for a banned substance.
The tournament was won by Australia who won all 11 of their matches, beating India in the final played at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. This was Australia’s third World Cup win, the only team to do so. Fourteen teams played in the 2003 World Cup, the largest number of teams to play in a Cricket World Cup at the time; the 10 Test playing nations automatically qualified for the tournament including the appointed member Bangladesh, while Kenya qualified automatically due to their full One Day International status. The other three spots were filled by the top three teams in the 2001 ICC Trophy in Canada, which served as a qualifying tournament; these teams were the Netherlands who won the ICC Trophy and Namibia. This was Namibia's World Cup debut, while the Netherlands and Canada were both appearing in the tournament for the second time, having appeared in 1996 and 1979 respectively; the format used in the 1999 World Cup was retained, with the 14 teams divided into two groups of seven, the top three from each group qualifying for the Super Sixes stage, carrying forward the results they had achieved against other qualifiers from their group.
The top four teams in the Super Sixes qualified for the semi-finals, the winners of those matches contested the final. The top three teams from each pool qualify for the next stage, carrying forward the points scored against fellow qualifiers, plus a quarter of the points scored against the teams that failed to qualify. Australia, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and New Zealand advanced to the Super Sixes stage. Points carried forward were calculated as follows: Four points for a win over another qualifier, one for a win over a non-qualifier, two for a tie or no result against another qualifier, 0.5 for a tie or no result against a non-qualifier. Teams that advanced to the semi-finals are highlighted in blue. On a difficult, slow pitch at Port Elizabeth, Australia struggled their way to 212 against tight Sri Lankan bowling, thanks to a great innings from Andrew Symonds, demonstrating again captain Ricky Ponting's faith in him. Chaminda Vaas, continuing his excellent tournament, took three wickets. Australia's pace attack ripped through the Sri Lankan top order, with Brett Lee taking three early wickets and Glenn McGrath taking one.
By the time rain arrived in the 39th over, continued tight bowling had squeezed Sri Lanka to 123, well behind the target given by the Duckworth–Lewis method. This is the match in which Adam Gilchrist famously "walked" despite being given not out; the fairytale ended for the Kenyan team, the only non-Test-playing nation to make a World Cup semi-final. Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, batted the Kenyans out of the game as India careered to a total of 270. Under the Durban lights, the potent Indian seam attack of Zaheer Khan, the experienced Javagal Srinath and Ashish Nehra careered through the Kenyan top order. Kenya were bowled out for 179, with only Steve Tikolo putting up any significant resistance. India won the toss, Ganguly, elected to field, hoping to take advantage of a pitch left damp by dew and rain. On a lively Wanderers Stadium pitch, the Australian openers took advantage of wayward Indian opening bowlers to get off to a flying start. Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden shared an opening partnership of 105 runs in 14 overs, forcing Ganguly to bring on the spinners unusually early.
The change of pace brought wickets with Adam Gilchrist, swinging at everything, holing out off a sweep shot from the bowling of Harbhajan Singh. Matthew Hayden, looking somewhat better than he had throughout the tournament, soon followed for 37, leaving Australia at 2/125 Captain Ricky Ponting and Damien Martyn completing a partnership of 234 runs in 30.1 overs, an Australian record for one-day cricket. Ponting and Martyn started efficiently, putting away bad balls but keeping the scoring going with good running letting loose in the last ten overs, taking 109 from them. Ponting in p
2011 Cricket World Cup
The 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup was the tenth Cricket World Cup. It was played in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh. India won the tournament, defeating Sri Lanka by 6 wickets in the final at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, thus becoming the first country to win the Cricket World Cup final on home soil. India's Yuvraj Singh was declared the man of the tournament; this was the first time in World Cup history. It was the first time since the 1992 World Cup that the final match did not feature Australia. All the matches were One Day Internationals, all were played over 50 overs. Fourteen national cricket teams took part, including 10 full members and four associate members of the ICC; the opening ceremony was held on 17 February 2011 at Bangabandhu National Stadium and the tournament was played between 19 February and 2 April. The first match was played between India and Bangladesh at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, Dhaka, it is the most viewed World Cup edition with 2.2 billion worldwide viewers.
Pakistan was scheduled to be a co-host, but after the 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka national cricket team in Lahore, the International Cricket Council cancelled that, the headquarters of the organising committee in Lahore, was transferred to Mumbai. Pakistan was to have held 14 matches, including one semi-final. Eight of the games were awarded to India, four to Sri Lanka, two to Bangladesh; the ICC announced on 30 April 2006. Australia and New Zealand had bid for the tournament; the Trans–Tasman bid, Beyond Boundaries, was the only one delivered to the ICC headquarters in Dubai before the 1 March deadline, but the Asian bidders were granted an extension by the ICC. The New Zealand government had given assurance that Zimbabwe would be allowed to compete in the tournament, following political discussions in the country over whether their cricket team should be allowed to tour Zimbabwe in 2005; the extra time needed for the Asian bid had weakened its prospects, but when the time came to vote, Asia won the hosting rights by ten votes to three.
The Pakistan Cricket Board has revealed that the vote of the West Indies Cricket Board was decisive, as the Asian bid had the support of South Africa and Zimbabwe as well as the four bidding countries. The Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported that the Asian countries had promised to hold fund-raising events for West Indian cricket during the 2007 World Cup, which may have influenced the vote. However, I. S. Bindra, chairman of the Monitoring Committee of the Asian bid, said that their promise of extra profits of around US$400 million had been decisive, that there "was no quid pro quo for their support", that playing the West Indies had "nothing to do with the World Cup bid". Late in 2007, the four host nations agreed on a revised format for the 2011 World Cup, identical to that of the 1996 World Cup, except that there would be 14 teams instead of 12; the first round of the tournament would consist of two groups of seven teams. Each team in a group would play all the others once, the top four from each group would qualify for the quarter-finals.
This ensured. As per ICC regulations, all 10 full members automatically qualify for the World Cup, including Zimbabwe who have given up their Test playing status until the standard of their team improves; the ICC organised a qualifying tournament in South Africa to determine the four Associate teams who would participate in the 2011 event. Ireland, the best performing Associate nation since the last World Cup, won the tournament, beating Canada in the final; the Netherlands and Kenya qualified by virtue of finishing third and fourth respectively. All 4 associates kept their ODI status as well as Scotland who this time failed to qualify for the World Cup; the following 14 teams qualified for the final tournament. In April 2009 the ICC announced that Pakistan had lost its right to co-host the 2011 World Cup because of concerns about the "uncertain security situation" in the country in the aftermath of the 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka national cricket team in Lahore; the PCB estimated. This figure took account only of the fees of $750,000 per match guaranteed by the ICC.
The overall loss to the PCB and the Pakistani economy were expected to be much greater. On 9 April 2009 PCB chairman Ijaz Butt revealed that they had issued a legal notice to oppose ICC's decision; the ICC, claimed that the PCB was still a co-host, that they had only relocated the matches out of Pakistan. Pakistan proposed that South Asia host the 2015 World Cup and that Australia and New Zealand host the 2011 event, but this option did not find favour with their co-hosts and was not implemented. On 11 April 2005 PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan announced an agreement on the allocation of games, under which India would host the final and Sri Lanka the semi-finals, Bangladesh the opening ceremony. After being stripped of its status as a co-host, Pakistan proposed to host its allocated games in the United Arab Emirates as a neutral venue, they had played matches in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah in the preceding months. On 28 April 2009, the ICC announced that matches intended to be played in Pakistan would be reallocated.
As a result, India hosted 29 matches across eight venues, including one semi-final.
Batting average (cricket)
In cricket, a player's batting average is the total number of runs they have scored divided by the number of times they have been out. Since the number of runs a player scores and how they get out are measures of their own playing ability, independent of their teammates, batting average is a good metric for an individual player's skill as a batter; the number is simple to interpret intuitively. If all the batter's innings were completed, this is the average number of runs they score per innings. If they did not complete all their innings, this number is an estimate of the unknown average number of runs they score per innings; each player has several batting averages, with a different figure calculated for each type of match they play, a player's batting averages may be calculated for individual seasons or series, or at particular grounds, or against particular opponents, or across their whole career. Batting average has been used to gauge cricket players' relative skills since the 18th century.
Most players have career batting averages in the range of 20 to 40. This is the desirable range for wicket-keepers, though some fall short and make up for it with keeping skill; until a substantial increase in scores in the 21st century due to improved bats and smaller grounds among other factors, players who sustained an average above 50 through a career were considered exceptional, before the development of the heavy roller in the 1870s an average of 25 was considered good. All-rounders who are more prominent bowlers than batsmen average something between 20 and 30. 15 and under is typical for specialist bowlers. A small number of players have averaged less than 5 for a complete career, though a player with such an average is a liability unless an exceptional bowler as Alf Valentine, B. S. Chandrasekhar or Glenn McGrath were. Career records for batting average are subject to a minimum qualification of 20 innings played or completed, in order to exclude batsmen who have not played enough games for their skill to be reliably assessed.
Under this qualification, the highest Test batting average belongs to Australia's Sir Donald Bradman, with 99.94. Given that a career batting average over 50 is exceptional, that only five other players have averages over 60, this is an outstanding statistic; the fact that Bradman's average is so far above that of any other cricketer has led several statisticians to argue that, statistically at least, he was the greatest athlete in any sport. Disregarding this 20 innings qualification, the highest career test batting average is 112, by Andy Ganteaume, a Trinidadian Keeper-batsman, dismissed for 112 in his only test innings. Batting averages in One Day International cricket tend to be lower than in Test cricket, because of the need to score runs more and take riskier strokes and the lesser emphasis on building a large innings, it should be remembered in relation to the ODI histogram above, that there were no ODI competitions when Bradman played. If a batter has been dismissed in every single innings this statistic gives the average number of runs they score per innings.
However, for a batter with innings which finished not out, the true average number of runs they score per innings is unknown as it is not known how many runs they would have scored if they could have completed all their not out innings. This statistic is an estimate of the average number of runs. If their scores have a geometric distribution this statistic is the maximum likelihood estimate of their true unknown average. Batting averages can be affected by the number of not outs. For example, Phil Tufnell, noted for his poor batting, has an respectable ODI average of 15, despite a highest score of only 5 not out, as he scored an overall total of 15 runs from 10 innings, but was out only once. A batter who has not been dismissed in any of the innings over which their average is being calculated does not have a batting average, as dividing by zero does not give a result. Highest career batting averages in Test matches. Table shows players with at least 20 innings completed. * denotes not out. Last updated: 14 October 2018.
Highest career batting averages in First-class cricket as follows: Source: Cricinfo Statsguru. Table shows players with at least 50 innings batted, note this table has no requirement for minimum number of runs scored. * denotes not out. Last updated: 10 November 2018. Alternative measures of batting effectiveness have been developed, including: Strike rate measures a different concept to batting average – how the batter scores – so it does not supplant the role of batting average, it is used in limited overs matches, where the speed at which a batter scores is more important than it is in first-class cricket. A system of player rankings was developed to produce a better indication of players' current standings than is provided by comparing their averages. Cricket statistics Batting average Bowling average
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a field at the centre of, a 20-metre pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two bails balanced on three stumps. The batting side scores runs by striking the ball bowled at the wicket with the bat, while the bowling and fielding side tries to prevent this and dismiss each player. Means of dismissal include being bowled, when the ball hits the stumps and dislodges the bails, by the fielding side catching the ball after it is hit by the bat, but before it hits the ground; when ten players have been dismissed, the innings ends and the teams swap roles. The game is adjudicated by two umpires, aided by a third umpire and match referee in international matches, they communicate with two off-field scorers. There are various formats ranging from Twenty20, played over a few hours with each team batting for a single innings of 20 overs, to Test matches, played over five days with unlimited overs and the teams each batting for two innings of unlimited length.
Traditionally cricketers play in all-white kit, but in limited overs cricket they wear club or team colours. In addition to the basic kit, some players wear protective gear to prevent injury caused by the ball, a hard, solid spheroid made of compressed leather with a raised sewn seam enclosing a cork core, layered with wound string. Cricket's origins are uncertain and the earliest definite reference is in south-east England in the middle of the 16th century, it spread globally with the expansion of the British Empire, leading to the first international matches in the second half of the 19th century. The game's governing body is the International Cricket Council, which has over 100 members, twelve of which are full members who play Test matches; the game's rules are held in a code called the Laws of Cricket, owned and maintained by Marylebone Cricket Club in London. The sport is followed in the Indian subcontinent, the United Kingdom, southern Africa and the West Indies, its globalisation occurring during the expansion of the British Empire and remaining popular into the 21st century.
Women's cricket, organised and played separately, has achieved international standard. The most successful side playing international cricket is Australia, having won seven One Day International trophies, including five World Cups, more than any other country, having been the top-rated Test side more than any other country. Cricket is one of many games in the "club ball" sphere that involve hitting a ball with a hand-held implement. In cricket's case, a key difference is the existence of a solid target structure, the wicket, that the batsman must defend; the cricket historian Harry Altham identified three "groups" of "club ball" games: the "hockey group", in which the ball is driven to and fro between two targets. It is believed that cricket originated as a children's game in the south-eastern counties of England, sometime during the medieval period. Although there are claims for prior dates, the earliest definite reference to cricket being played comes from evidence given at a court case in Guildford on Monday, 17 January 1597.
The case concerned ownership of a certain plot of land and the court heard the testimony of a 59-year-old coroner, John Derrick, who gave witness that: "Being a scholler in the ffree schoole of Guldeford hee and diverse of his fellows did runne and play there at creckett and other plaies". Given Derrick's age, it was about half a century earlier when he was at school and so it is certain that cricket was being played c. 1550 by boys in Surrey. The view that it was a children's game is reinforced by Randle Cotgrave's 1611 English-French dictionary in which he defined the noun "crosse" as "the crooked staff wherewith boys play at cricket" and the verb form "crosser" as "to play at cricket". One possible source for the sport's name is the Old English word "cryce" meaning a staff. In Samuel Johnson's Dictionary, he derived cricket from "cryce, Saxon, a stick". In Old French, the word "criquet" seems to have meant a kind of stick. Given the strong medieval trade connections between south-east England and the County of Flanders when the latter belonged to the Duchy of Burgundy, the name may have been derived from the Middle Dutch "krick", meaning a stick.
Another possible source is the Middle Dutch word "krickstoel", meaning a long low stool used for kneeling in church and which resembled the long low wicket with two stumps used in early cricket. According to Heiner Gillmeister, a European language expert of Bonn University, "cricket" derives from the Middle Dutch phrase for hockey, met de sen. Gillmeister has suggested that not only the name but the sport itself may be of Flemish origin. Although the main object of the game has always been to score the most runs, the early form of cricket differed from the modern game in certain key technical aspects; the ball was bowled underarm by the bowler and all along the ground towards a batsman armed with a bat that, in shape, resembled a hockey stick.
The captain of a cricket team referred to as the skipper, is the appointed leader, having several additional roles and responsibilities over and above those of the other players. As in other sports, the captain is experienced and has good communication skills, is to be one of the most regular members of the team, as the captain has a say in team selection. Before the game the captains toss for innings. During the match the captain decides the team's batting order, who will bowl each over, where each fielder will be positioned. While the captain has the final say, decisions are collaborative. A captain's knowledge of the complexities of cricket strategy and tactics, shrewdness in the field, may contribute to the team's success. Due to the smaller coaching/management role played out by support staff, as well as the need for greater on-field decision-making, the captain of a cricket team shoulders more responsibility for results than team captains in other sports. Before the start of a match the home captain tosses a coin and the away captain calls heads or tails.
The captain who wins the toss bowl first. The decision depends on the condition of the pitch and whether it is to deteriorate, the weather conditions and the weather forecast; the decision depends on the relative strengths of the team's batting and bowling. For instance in Test Cricket, a side with only fast bowlers may choose to bowl first to try to take advantage of any early moisture in the pitch, knowing that it will be harder to take wickets in the match. A side with a weak opening batting pair may choose to bowl first in order to protect their batsmen; the captain decides where the fielders will stand, in consultation with the bowler and sometimes other senior players. The fielding positions will be dictated by the type of bowler, the batsman's batting style, the captain's assessment of the state of the match; the captain decides. If a batsman is seeking to dominate the current bowler, the captain may ask someone else to bowl. If the regular bowlers are not achieving the desired results, the captain may decide to use non-regular bowlers to attempt to unsettle the batsmen.
The captain may change the bowlers around to introduce variation, to prevent the batsmen getting "set". In limited overs cricket the captain additionally has to make certain that bowlers bowl no more than their allotted maximum number of overs, that experienced bowlers are available at the end of the batting side's innings, when the batsmen are looking to take risks to attack and score quickly. In the longer forms of cricket, when a new ball becomes available the captain decides whether to use it; when the team bats, the captain decides the batting order. In professional cricket the captain changes the established batting order only for exceptional reasons, because batsmen tend to specialise in batting at certain positions. However, in certain circumstances it may be in the team's interest to change the batting order. If quick runs are needed, a attacking batsman may be promoted up the order. A player who is'in form' may be promoted to a higher batting position, at the expense of a player who is'out of form'.
If a wicket falls near the end of a day's play if the light is failing, or if the bowlers seem confident, the captain may choose to send in a non-specialist batsman, referred to as a nightwatchman. If the nightwatchman does not get out before the end of that day's play the specialist batsman will have been protected, will not need to bat until the following day when conditions are to have improved. If the nightwatchman does get out, the cost of losing a late wicket will have been minimised, because the specialist batsman is still available to bat; the captain may declare the team's innings closed at any time, but only does so as an attacking ploy, for instance if the captain thinks the team has enough runs to win the match, or if a sudden change in conditions has made it advantageous to bowl rather than bat. In a two-innings match, if the situation arises the captain decides; the captain is consulted on whether an injured batsman from the opposing team may use a runner when batting. Permission is given if the batsman has become injured during the course of the match, but if the batsman was carrying the injury at the start of the match the captain may refuse.
As well as decisions taken either before or during a match, captains often have some responsibility for the good running of the cricket club. For instance, they may decide when the team is to practise, for how long. In professional cricket the captain has some say in who will form the squad from which teams are selected, may decide how young up-and-coming players are to be encouraged and improved, how members of the squad who are not selected for first-team matches are to gain match practice. Prior to July 2015, the captain was responsible for deciding when to take batting and bowling powerplays in limited overs matches; the captain may be assisted in some instances joint vice-captains. This is useful if the captain is forced to leave the field of play during fielding; some teams allocate the vice-captain a more or less formal role in assisting with team selection, dis
Punjab is Pakistan's second largest province by area, after Balochistan, it is the most populated province, with an estimated population of 110,012,442 as of 2017. Forming the bulk of the transnational Punjab region, it is bordered by the Pakistan provinces of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the enclave of Islamabad, Azad Kashmir, it shares borders with the Indian states of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir. The provincial capital of Punjab is the city Lahore, a cultural, historical and cosmopolitan centre of Pakistan where the country's cinema industry, much of its fashion industry, are based. Punjab has been inhabited since ancient times; the Indus Valley Civilization, dating to 2600 BCE, was first discovered at Harappa. Punjab features in the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata, is home to Taxila, site of what is considered by many to be the oldest university in the world. In 326 BCE, Alexander the Great defeated King Porus at the Battle of the Hydaspes near Punjab; the Umayyad empire conquered Punjab in the 8th century CE.
In the subsequent centuries, Punjab was invaded and conquered by the Ghaznavids, Delhi Sultanate, Mughals and the Sikhs. Punjab reached the height of its splendour during the reign of the Mughal Empire, which for a time ruled from Lahore. During the 18th century, Nader Shah’s invasion of the Mughal Empire caused Mughal authority in the Punjab to fall apart and it thus fell into chaos; the Durranis under Ahmad Shah Durrani wrested control of Punjab only to lose it to the Sikhs after a successful rebellion which allowed Sikh armies to claim Lahore in 1759. The Sikh Empire was ruled by Ranjit Singh with his capital based in Lahore, until its defeat by the British. Punjab was central to the independence movements of both India and Pakistan, with Lahore being site of both the Declaration of Indian Independence, the resolution calling for the establishment of Pakistan; the province was formed when the Punjab province of British India was divided along religious boundaries in 1947 by the Radcliffe Line after Partition.
Punjab is Pakistan's most industrialised province with the industrial sector making up 24% of the province's gross domestic product. Punjab is known in Pakistan for its relative prosperity, has the lowest rate of poverty amongst all Pakistani provinces. A clear divide is present between the southern portions of the province. Punjab is one of South Asia's most urbanized regions with 40% of people living in urban areas, its human development index rankings are high relative to the rest of Pakistan. Punjab is known in Pakistan for its liberal social attitudes; the province has been influenced by Sufism, with numerous Sufi shrines spread across Punjab which attract millions of devotees annually. The founder of the Sikh faith, Guru Nanak, was born in the Punjab town of Nankana Sahib near Lahore. Punjab is the site of the Katasraj Temple, which features prominently in Hindu mythology. Several UNESCO World Heritage Sites are located in Punjab, including the Shalimar Gardens, the Lahore Fort, the archeological excavations at Taxila, the Rohtas Fort.
The region was called Sapta Sindhu, the Vedic land of the seven rivers flowing into the ocean. The Sanskrit name for the region, as mentioned in the Ramayana and Mahabharata for example, was Panchanada which means "Land of the Five Rivers", was translated to Persian as Punjab after the Muslim conquests; the region was known to the Greeks as Pentapotamia. The word Punjab was formally introduced in the early 17th century CE as an elision of the Persian words panj and āb, thus meaning the five rivers, similar in meaning to the Sanskrit and Greek name for the region; the five rivers, namely Chenab, Ravi and Sutlej, flow via the Panjnad River into the Indus River and into the Arabian Sea. Of the five great rivers of Punjab, four course through Pakistan's Punjab province. Due to its location, the Punjab region came under constant attack and witnessed centuries of foreign invasions by the Persians, Kushans, Scythians and Afghans; the northwestern part of South Asia, including Punjab, was invaded or conquered by various foreign empires, including those of Tamerlane, Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan.
The oldest evidence of life in Pakistan has been found in Soan River valley. It was here that some of the earliest signs of humans have been discovered during the excavations of prehistoric mounds. Tools up to two million years old have been recovered in potohar plateau. In the Soan River, many fossil bearing rocks are exposed on the surface. 14 million year old fossils of gazelle, crocodile and rodents have been found there. Punjab during Mahabharata times was known as Panchanada. Punjab was part of the Indus Valley Civilization, more than 4000 years ago; the main site in Punjab was the city of Harrapa. The Indus Valley Civilization spanned much of what is today Pakistan and evolved into the Indo-Aryan civilization; the Vedic civilisation flourished along the length of the Indus River. This civilization shaped subsequent cultures in South Afghanistan. Although the archaeological site at Harappa was damaged in 1857 when engineers constructing the Lahore-Multan railroad used brick from the Harappa ruins for track ballast, an abundance of artefacts have been found.
Punjab was part of the great ancient empires including the Gandhara Mahajanapadas, Macedonians, Kushans and Hin