The KP’s provincial government’s hopes of hosting games of the upcoming season of the Pakistan Super League in Peshawar have suffered a massive blow after the sport’s regulator deemed facilities in the city as unfit.
Initially, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had confirmed that Peshawar will get the right to host some games of PSL with the city and the province represented through the culturally named and hugely successful Peshawar Zalmi. However, with the main cricket stadium in the city, Arbab Niaz Stadium had been deemed as unfit to host a match after it failed to meet the standards listed by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
A huge project was undertaken by the KP government to renovate the stadium. However, the PCB now reportedly isn’t happy with the slow pace of work on sight.
As an alternative, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister Mahmood Khan directed to launch a plan to convert the cricket stadium in Hayatabad into a facility which can host the games. The government also allotted a whopping Rs.500 million for the task. However, the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) clearly affected the pace of this project much like it did with nearly every other thing in the country
The pace and quality of the project were reviewed by a high-powered team from the PCB last month. In light of the committee’s report, the PCB has now decided not to proceed with matches in either venue in Peshawar for the upcoming PSL season.
The board’s decision has also been formally communicated to the provincial government.
When reached out to, PCB’s head of media Samiul Hassan said that very little time is left to complete preparations for the next PSL season, and with the stadiums still incomplete, matches cannot be staged in Peshawar.
Confirming that the PCB’s decision has been communicated to Peshawar, he explained that they have to inform the cricket managing bodies of the countries from where international players are coming about the venues and cities where matches can be played. Further, he said that they have to comply with ICC regulations apart from conducting security and other assessments.