Government gives PCB green light to build stadium in Islamabad

Published January 2, 2022
PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja recently said the Board was looking forward to building a “high-tech” stadium in the federal capital. — Screengrab via PCB Twitter
PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja recently said the Board was looking forward to building a “high-tech” stadium in the federal capital. — Screengrab via PCB Twitter

LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was given an approval by the government on Friday for the construction of a brand new cricket stadium in Islamabad by 2025.

The decision was taken in a meeting held between PCB chairman Ramiz Raja and Prime Minister Imran Khan here.

Pakistan is set to host the 2025 ICC Champions Trophy and Ramiz, since his election as the board’s chief, has been vocal about the state of international cricket venues in the country not being according to the required standard.

In a recent press conference, the former Test captain had said the PCB was looking forward to building a “high-tech” stadium in the federal capital.

The plan for a stadium in Islamabad, though, was finalised back in 2008 by the then federal government of the Pakistan’s People’s Party when the Capital Development Authority allotted 40-acre land for it.

The PCB, however, failed to initiate work at the site, forcing the CDA to cancel the 33-year lease. In 2012, the federal government got permission from the CDA to start construction work on the site again.

This time the body allotted 35 acres of land and demanded a 30 per cent share of all revenue generated from the activities held at the venue after it’s built.

Since the allotted land was located in the premises of Shakarparian National Park, the CDA asked the PCB to submit an environmental assessment report of the project. The board failed to do that and construction was once again halted only after the completion of the boundary wall.

In 2014, the then PCB chairman Najam Sethi announced that the construction work would resume on the site but no progress was made.

Ehsan Mani, who succeeded Sethi in 2018, did not have the Islamabad stadium on his agenda. He was more focused on the renovation of the Niaz Stadium in Hyderabad because of its proximity to Karachi.

Published in Dawn, January 2nd, 2022

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