Sports & Games

PM Kakar Urges PCB to Include More Cities in PSL 9

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has instructed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to devise a comprehensive strategy for organising the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season 9 cricket matches in all major cities of Pakistan.

The premier chaired a meeting on Monday to discuss the board’s affairs, where he was briefed by PCB officials about the preparations for the upcoming edition of the PSL, which is scheduled to take place in February 2024.

According to the report, the PCB officials informed the prime minister that the PSL 9 would feature matches in Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, and Multan. However, PM Kakar emphasised the need to expand the scope of the league and include other cities as well, such as Quetta, Peshawar, Gwadar, and Nagar.

The prime minister also stressed the importance of keeping the country’s interest and dignity at the forefront while appointing trainers, support staff and officials in the PCB. He further directed that the elections of the board’s Management Committee should be conducted efficiently, highlighting that cricket played a crucial role in uniting the nation and enhancing national spirit.

The prime minister said that cricket was not only a sport but also a passion for the people of Pakistan, and the government was committed to promoting and developing the game in every corner of the country.

“There is immense cricket talent in Sindh, Balochistan, South Punjab, Gilgit-Baltistan, newly merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Azad Jammu & Kashmir, that needed to be given a chance to be represented at the national level,” the premier said.

He directed PCB to immediately begin restoration work of Quetta’s Bugti Stadium and Peshawar’s Arbab-e Niaz Stadium to hold international cricket matches there. He also suggested that Gwadar Cricket Stadium and Pissan Stadium in Nagar, Gilgit-Baltistan, be adapted for cricket matches.

Kakar also directed the board to conduct an immediate survey of Pissan Stadium, adding that rehabilitation work of the existing cricket stadiums should be started on an emergency basis. In addition, he asked for a plan to be prepared for the establishment of new cricket stadiums equipped with modern facilities along with international standard hotels and shopping areas to promote tourism as well.

He also directed the handing over of the four cricket grounds in Islamabad to the PCB for the development of cricket.

In a recent meeting, it was announced that the Cricket Champions Trophy of 2025 would be hosted by Pakistan. The attendees, including PM Kakar, were informed about the expansion of cricket associations in the country from six to 16, a move aimed at showcasing regional talent. Furthermore, the construction of cricket infrastructure in cities like Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Gujranwala, Peshawar, and Bahawalpur was in progress. The conversion of Gaddafi Stadium Lahore, National Stadium Karachi, and Multan Stadium to solar energy was also discussed. The meeting highlighted the initiatives being taken to promote women’s cricket in Pakistan.

The meeting was attended by Fawad Hasan Fawad, the Federal Minister for Privatisation, PCB Chairman Muhammad Zaka Ashraf, Chief Operating Officer Salman Naseer, Chief Selector Wahab Riaz, and other relevant government officials. PCB officials Muhammad Hafeez, Umar Gul, and Saeed Ajmal joined the meeting via video link from Australia.

Shakil Shaikh, a former PCB member, commented on the meeting on platform X, praising the PM for his firmness and principles. He mentioned that the PM had a meeting with Zak Ashraf, where he was told to enhance his performance or face consequences. The PM denied him the authority to make long-term decisions and instructed him to conduct elections immediately.

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