While there may be a drought of international cricket in the country, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has not given up hope of staging matches and is visiting venues in an assessment drive to increase the number of quality stadiums.
The PCB grounds committee, comprising Intikhab Alam, Mir Haider Ali Talpur and Chaudary Anwar, is currently inspecting venues in the country and will submit a report for the up gradation of the stadiums and transform One-Day International (ODI) venues to Test centres.
Pakistan normally propose three venues to host Test matches, including Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad or Multan. However, the PCB wants to broaden the range and add Rawalpindi, Hyderabad along with others to the list where the country can stage matches of cricket’s longest format.
The Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium is already undergoing renovation while the pitches at the Qaddafi Stadium, Lahore, have also been re-laid and construction work is also underway.
It is likely that the PCB might also give stadiums in Sheikhupura, Gujranwala, Sialkot and Abbottabad ODI status while Lahore, Faisalabad, Karachi and Multan are already among the Test venues.
Selection committee to meet today
Meanwhile, the PCB selection committee will meet today to finalise the squad for the Zimbabwe tour. Reports have also suggested that the selectors will also propose names for the bi-annual central contracts for the latter part of the year.
“We will meet here in Lahore to deliberate over the probable squad for the Zimbabwe tour,” chief selector Mohsin Khan told The Express Tribune. “We will also short-list the players for the central contacts.
“I don’t know if we will be able to conclude our meeting in a day or two but once we finalise the list, announcing the squad is the PCB’s job,” he added.
The selection committee will hold discussions and hand over the list to the PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt.
Meanwhile, reports have also suggested that the PCB was planning to reduce the power of the selectors in announcing the players’ names for the central contracts. But now the PCB has decided to persist with its old policy and let the selectors finalise the players for the upcoming Zimbabwe series and also list out the three categories of the central contract.
Pakistan play one Test, three ODIs and two Twenty20s during the tour. The team will depart for Zimbabwe on August 28.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2011.
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