Pakistan to revamp three cricket stadia


Pakistan stadiums to be upgraded for Champions Trophy Image: National Cricket Stadium, Karachi, Nomi887, CC BY-SA 3.0

The Pakistan Cricket Board has unveiled plans to upgrade three stadiums in the country in time for the Champions Trophy in 2025.

The Times of India said The Pakistan Cricket Board has earmarked Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi as venues for next year’s Champions Trophy.

The Champions Trophy, which was last held in England in 2017, is expected to take place in Pakistan in February-March next year.

Last month, the Chairman of the PCB, Mohsin Naqvi, convened a crucial meeting with representatives from the National Engineering Services of Pakistan (NESPAK) to deliberate on the renovation plans for three prominent cricket stadiums in the country.

The high-level gathering, which saw the presence of PCB COO Salman Naseer, Director Infrastructure PCB Nasir Hameed, and GM NESPAK, primarily focused on the enhancement of Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, National Bank Stadium in Karachi, and Pindi Stadium in Rawalpindi.

During the meeting, NESPAK officials showcased their initial proposals for the immediate revamp of these three stadiums, explaining their plans through a comprehensive presentation.

Chairman Naqvi underlined the necessity of providing an improved viewing experience for spectators from every corner of the stadium. Furthermore, he highlighted the importance of modernizing the hospitality boxes at all three venues to meet contemporary standards.

Naqvi said at a recent press conference in Lahore, “We’ve sent the schedule for the matches in Pakistan for the Champions Trophy. The ICC’s security team came and we had a very good meeting. They looked at arrangements here and we’ll also share stadium upgrade plans with them.

“We are trying to ensure we host a very good tournament in Pakistan.”

The PCB has been steadfast in insisting that the tournament will not be altered in any way to accommodate India. Rumours had suggested a hybrid model might be adopted to accommodate India.

Naqvi also conceded that condition of all three proposed venues is currently sub-standard in terms of hosting international games of cricket.

“If you look at Gaddafi Stadium, it is good but the viewing experience is not great for cricket. Football maybe, not cricket,” Naqvi said.

“We need to improve facilities in the stadiums, where there are some old problems. Karachi is in bad shape. So, on May 7, we will finalise bids from international companies who will come and help us design.

“We are already late, but we need to do these upgrades in four-five months. It will be a very tough test but we can do it,” Naqvi concluded.

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