Arbab Niaz Stadium to be ready for international cricket by Nov-Dec: Shehzad Arbab

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Establishment Muhammad Shehzad Arbab Friday said that Arbab Niaz Cricket Stadium would be completed by November-December this year and could hold next Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches in 2022.

He said this while talking to media men during his visit to under construction Arbab Niaz Cricket Stadium with the total cost of Rs. 1.92 billion. Secretary Sports KP Abid Majeed, DG Sports Asfandyar Khan Khattak, DSO Tehseen Ullah Khan, officials of the constructing company, engineers were also present.

At arrival for the inspection of the ongoing construction work, he was received by Secretary Sports and was briefed about the two billions projects and after competition Arbab Niaz Cricket Stadium would become the only venue in Pakistan with multiple facilities as par with the International Cricket Council and PCB requirement. “The Stadium would be handed over to PCB by April for development of pitches and grassy surface of the ground,” Shehzad Arbab informed. He said Arbab Niaz Cricket Stadium to be a modern, magnificent addition into the cricketing world because of its unique, unmatched facilities under one wall.

“We are hopeful enough to hold matches of the Pakistan Super League at the most picturesque Cricket Ground including players dressing rooms, media boxes, electronic scoreboard and other required facilities would be ensured,” he said.

Briefing Shehzad Arbab, Secretary Sports Abid Majeed said after the execution of this project the Stadium would provide all the facilities required for modern day cricketer. He said the facilities include improvement of ground, new pavilion, changing rooms, enhancing seating capacity from 13000 to 26000 spectators with chairs.

The Stadium would have additional floor on the stairs, flood-light similar to Dubai Cricket Stadium with, dining halls, conference halls, swimming pool, office-rooms washrooms blocks, media galleries, VIP stands, generators for floodlit facilities. A National Cricket Academy on the patron of NCA presently in the Qaddafi Stadium Lahore, two gymnasium, indoor practice, indoor practice pitches, and five star accommodations for the players, digital monitoring systems, he said.

He disclosed that a MoU has already been signed with the Chief Operating Officer PCB for establishment of the state-of-the-art cricket Academy in Arbab Niaz Cricket Stadium, which would be the second of such kind in Pakistan like NCA.

He informed that Chief Minister KP Mahmood Khan was interested in converting the Hayatabad Cricket Stadium into an international cricket stadium and approved Rs 993 million to develop other international standard cricket facilities.

He said completion of the projects would help bring international cricket to Peshawar. He also lauded Chairman PCB Ehsan Mani for taking interest in promoting cricket in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The venue is an international cricket stadium constructed in 1984, the era when it was called Shahi Bagh Stadium as it touches the historical garden. After battling with terrorism for more than a decade, KP is rapidly moving towards restoring peace in the region and redeeming its past glory. Out of many, one important step in its peacetime transition is to rekindle the spirit of sport.

The stadium saw its last one-day international match in 2006 – played between Pakistan and India – after which terrorist events pushed international sports and competitions away from the country. With Pakistan’s success in the war against terrorism, together with the improved security situation, international teams have resumed their visits to Pakistan, and test cricket and T20 matches of Pakistan Super League (PSL) are also being organized with the customary zeal and fervour.

Established in 1984, the Arbab Niaz Stadium once enjoyed the reputation of being the only sports arena in the country to host both test and one-day matches.