PCB near in striking deal for cricket stadium in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is near in striking a deal with Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) and National Council for Conservation of Wildlife (NCCW) to finally build the long-awaited cricket stadium in the Federal Capital.

Talking to the state-run news agency, a PCB high official said the board is currently in talks with Pak-EPA and NCCW as they had some concerns regarding the construction of the stadium at Shakarparian.

It may be mentioned here that Pak-EPA and NCCW had said that the proposed site for the stadium falls in the jurisdiction of Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP) and such a project is a violation of Islamabad Wildlife Ordinance 1979 as well as violation of the city’s master plan.

Construction of this stadium is said to result in the felling of thousands of trees and about 15 acres of shrubs, flora and other greenery.

The PCB and the Capital Development Authority (CDA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2012 under which the CDA had allotted 35 acres of land near Shakarparian for the construction of cricket stadium.

According to the agreement, CDA was supposed receive a revenue share of 30 per cent from every national and international match while the remaining 70 per cent had to go to PCB.

However at that time, the work was stopped due to issues raised by Pak-EPA and NCCW, the PCB official said.

“Hopefully all the issues between Pak-EPA, NCCW and PCB would be sorted out in two to three months,” he said and added after sorting out matters with Pak-EPA and NCCW, the PCB would start its work on the stadium.

“Initial plans suggested that the stadium would have a seating capacity of 50,000 people, a cricket academy and other related facilities.”

At present, there is no state-owned cricket stadium or academy in the capital city and all local matches or trainings are carried out at club-owned grounds.

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