HYDERABAD- Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Zaka Ashraf has expressed the hope for a revival of the international cricket after the anticipated visit of Bangladesh cricket team in April this year.
He said during a press conference here on Sunday to mark the golden jubilee celebrations of Niaz Stadium. Talking about the Bangladesh visit in April 2012, he said the Bangladesh security experts would arrive in Pakistan in January to monitor and finalize the arrangements. “Interior Minister Rehman Malik had earlier assured us of concrete security arrangements and deployment of Rangers and Frontier Constabulary along with the police for the visiting teams players safety”, he added.
“Bangladesh will bring a revival of international cricket in Pakistan and the deserted cricket stadiums will again become spright,” he hoped.
Zaka also urged the media to play its role in dispelling wrong perceptions about security in Pakistan. Responding to a question as to why adequate celebrations are not planned for the stadium’s golden jubilee, Ashraf agreeing with the questioner announced that a festival in that regard would be organized soon.
“We were hoping to see the people of Hyderabad, students and youth turn up for the celebrations but it didn’t happen which is disappointing. We will again celebrate the golden jubilee after flood lights are installed at the stadium soon,” he said.
“Pakistan cricket team was under immense pressure in 2011 after the spot-fixing case but it fought back and by the year end won international ranking for itself as well as for the players,” he observed. Ashraf said that the team was mobilized and in a high moral spirit. The PCB chairman lamented that the series against England, which starts from January 17 in United Arab Emirates, could not be organized in the country but he was optimistic about the team’s performance against England in the home series in UAE which includes Test, one day and T20 matches.
On a query about the domestic cricket structure, he said legendary cricketers like Intikhab Alam and others were making efforts to develop domestic cricket in Pakistan and the establishment of new cricket grounds in small districts by the PCB would be a great help in that regard.
A Twenty20 match between Patron’s XI and Chairman’ XI was also held to mark the celebration and the winning team was awarded Rs 25,000 cash prize. In July 2007, District Government Hyderabad handed over Niaz Stadium to the PCB under a memorandum of understanding for its development to the international standard. When asked why the promised development has not been made, Ashraf attributed that to a ban of international matches in Pakistan.
However, he added that as soon as the international sport was restored in the country the development of all the stadiums would follow. Mir Hyder Talpur, chairman Regional Cricket Association, Hyderabad Region, said after the stadium’s handover more than Rs 15 million were spent on various facilities and the outfield.
Ashraf said Javed Miandad was the cricket ambassador of Pakistan and currently performing his responsibilities for developing cricket in the friendly nation China.
The PCB’s media manager Nadeem Sarwar, Commissioner Hyderabad division Ahmed Narejo, Deputy Commissioner Asif Memon and other officials were also present on the occasion.