LAHORE: Nine newly-laid cricket pitches at the only cricketing venue of old Lahore at the Iqbal Park Sports Complex have been rooted out to build a sports complex there.

Only last year the Lahore Region Cricket Association and Sports Board Punjab with joint efforts had laid down nine pitches to complete a three-year-old promise of the Punjab government after digging out all the 18 pitches there to build the Greater Iqbal Park.

Many of the 18 pitches had been there before the independence of the country in 1947. However, when a newer project came in even the nine new pitches were removed, depriving the following nine cricket clubs of any net practice: Muslim Gymkhana, Youngsters Club, Free Batters, Faiz Bagh, Crescent Club, Akhtar Abdur Rehman Club, Victorious Club, Mehboob Park and Ravi Gymkhana.

Interestingly, there is no cricket ground available to any club after this development from Shahdara to Chauburji, a distance of almost 10 kms.

Meanwhile, Anis Sheikh, Director, Sports Board Punjab, said that the board had financially contributed in preparing the nine cricket pitches. However, he admitted that now under the direction of the prime minister, 12 sports complexes were being built in Lahore, under the supervision of the Lahore Development Authority (LDA), one of which was being built in place of the cricket pitches. But he added that the LDA had made a commitment with the Sports Board of Punjab to accommodate the cricket clubs in the Sports Complex by allotting them some space to continue their net practice.

Published in Dawn, December 19th, 2017

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