An additional district and sessions judge has fixed September 3 for arguments on a petition filed by a coach accusing government officials of illegally taking possession of a cricket ground.
The respondents include the district coordination officer, tehsil municipal officer, Chief Minister’s Inspection Team chairman and the Chief Minister’s Secretariat.
Petitioner Mian Fayyaz Ahmad, the secretary and director of the School of Cricket and Football and a former first class cricketer, submitted that he had signed an agreement with the Model Town Society in 2007 for the use of the GH Ground for training.
He said that he later learnt that the government planned to take over the ground, which is located close to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s house, for security reasons. He moved a petition against this in the civil courts, but on May 30, 2011, while the plea was still pending, the respondents removed him from the ground by force.
He said that he had a distinguished career as a first class cricketer, captaining a team in the domestic league and competing against the likes of Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Waseem Akram and Rameez Raja.
After retirement, he said, he had set up the School of Cricket and Football along with other former cricketers with the aim of finding new talent for the national team. He said that he had trained three Test players in Aqib Javed, Zahid Fazal and Attaur Rehman.
He said that the school created a progressive and healthy atmosphere where young people got a good physical education.
Children from the SOS Village were also trained at the school, he said.
He asked the court to direct the government to restore his lease to the GH Ground and take action against the respondents for illegal dispossession.
According to witness statements submitted in support of the petitioner, the DCO told them that they were being removed from the ground as it was close to Shahbaz Sharif’s home and posed a security risk.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2013.