ISLAMABAD: A local court has directed the civic agency and the Northern Cricket Association of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) not to stop players of a club from using the Diamond Cricket Ground in G-8.

The Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) and the Capital Development Authority (CDA) through a memorandum of understanding (MoU) had recently allowed the Northern Cricket Association to use four cricket grounds in Islamabad, including the Diamond Cricket Ground.

Earlier, it was exclusively being used by the Diamond Cricket Club associated with former PCB member Shakil Shaikh. But after winning a case in Islamabad High Court (IHC), the CDA got possession of the ground a couple of months ago and made an agreement with the PCB which is now supposed to use it for holding cricket matches.

However, the club filed a case in a civil court seeking a stay order which was declined. On Sept 4, Additional District Judge (Islamabad West) Zafar Iqbal provided an interim relief to the club and ordered the PCB, CDA and MCI not to stop the appellants from playing in the ground and carrying on their routine practice and other cricketing activities.

Civic agency recently handed over four grounds to Northern Cricket Association of PCB

“In the interest of justice, last adjournment is given. Respondents be summoned through registered post AD/TCS/UMS etc., for 28-9-2021 subject to deposit of process fee by appellants.

“In the meanwhile, relying upon the affidavit, respondents are directed, subject to notices, not to stop the appellants from playing in the ground and carrying on their routine practice and other cricketing activitiestill next date of hearing.

“This interim stay shall be deemed vacated if not extended on the date fixed,” read the order of the additional district judge.

Sources said that last month MCI/CDA signed a MoU with the PCB under which the PCB will use four cricket grounds for promotion of cricket for five years.

The PCB will also help CDA/MCI in upgradation of two other cricket grounds.

The sources said it was also decided that the revenue generated from the four grounds will be shared between the Northern Cricket Association and MCI/CDA under a 60:40 ratio.

When contacted, a senior officer of the MCI said: “MCI/CDA and PCB have joined hands for promotion of cricket and as per agreement four grounds will be used by Northern Cricket Association for professional cricket.” He said the grounds will remain property of MCI/CDA and the PCB will use them for promotion of cricket.

To a query, the officer, however, claimed that the formula for sharing the revenue was yet to be determined by a committee.

When contacted, CEO Northern Cricket Association Najeeb Sadiq said without hearing the view point of the association and CDA/MCI the local court issued a stay order.

He said earlier the IHC and the sessions court had decided in favour of the CDA/MCI after which the two organisations handed over the four grounds to the association for the promotion of professional cricket.

He said Diamond Ground was reserved for first class cricket while in other grounds all clubs will be accommodated.

“No one will be deprived of playing cricket; we are here to promote cricket so we will treat all clubs equally,” he said, adding the PCB will challenge the stay order.

Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2021

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