The federal capital could be home to the newest international-level cricket stadium in the country after 35 acres were allocated for the purpose in Shakarparian. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to this effect was signed between the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday for a state-of-the-art sport facility.
Problems over where land would be allocated had held up work on the stadium for the last four years. According to Monday’s agreement, 30 per cent of the revenue from the stadium will go to the CDA, while the PCB will keep the rest.
A senior PCB official said that a similar MoU was also signed back in 2008 and the PCB had deposited Rs5 million with the CDA as down payment, but the land was never handed over. The official said that after the land was formally handed over to the board, it would take one year for construction of the stadium.
Prime Minister’s Task Force on Islamabad Chairman Faisal Sakhi Butt, PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf and CDA Chairman Engineer Farkhand Iqbal were present during the signing ceremony and subsequent press conference.
Speaking on the occasion, Butt said it is a hallmark for the federal capital and another milestone for the government in its efforts to develop sport infrastructure in the country. He said that the cricket stadium and academy would be a beautiful addition in the sports zone being developed in Islamabad.
He said that government has also allotted land for a golf facility near the stadium as a part of its initiative to promote sports activities in the region, which comprise the capital and adjoining areas including Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and Kashmir.
PCB chief Ashraf said that there is a lot of talent in the region which needs to be groomed by developing sports infrastructure of international standards. He said that the cricket academy would serve as a regional hub for grooming young talent from northern Pakistan.
Addressing a press conference following the singing of the MoU, Ashraf said the stadium would have seating capacity of around 50,000 people, while confirming that “the stadium will be constructed and run by the PCB, with 30 of its revenue going to CDA as land cost and 70 per cent as the PCB’s share”.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 8th, 2012.