PESHAWAR: The cricket teams from Islamabad and Karachi have refused to play at Gymkhana Cricket Ground in Peshawar owing to the dilapidated condition of the venue.
Cricket matches were scheduled to begin at the ground from next week and teams from various parts of the country were to compete in tournaments.
Officials told The Express Tribune on Sunday the teams refused to play on the ground as they said it was in a deplorable condition.
The officials added the relevant authorities have decided to shift the venue of the event to a cricket ground in Punjab.
The how and why
According to officials, the cricket pitch at the ground in Peshawar was badly damaged as a series of cricket tournaments were held there during Ramazan.
Meanwhile, Arbab Niaz Stadium was closed for three months for renovation purposes.
The officials said Gymkhana Cricket Ground was given to a contractor for Rs45,000 by the local government officer. They maintained the contractor earned over Rs0.8 million through cricket tournaments during Ramazan. However, the official said the contractor did not spend a dime on maintenance.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Town-I nazim Zahid Nadeem insisted Gymkhana Cricket Ground is not in a dilapidated condition. “I do not know why the teams refused to play matches at the venue,” he said.
“The locals approached his office for approval to conduct tournaments and he gave approval for the said purpose.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2016.