Facelift for Champions Trophy venues
The Pakistan Cricket Board has allotted more than Rs 500 million to upgrade the facilities at the three Champions Trophy venues - Rawalpindi, Karachi and Lahore - ahead of September's Champions Trophy, despite security fears over the tournament.
"We are putting our best foot forward," Mansur Sohail, PCB's media chief, told the News. "Whether its security arrangements or upgrading the facilities, nothing is being left to chance. We are confident of delivering a successful Champions Trophy to the cricket world and all possible steps are being taken to ensure it."
In 2006, Pakistan won the bid to host the Champions Trophy and decided to upgrade and expand the facilities at three of its major cricketing centres for the tournament last year.
While the National Stadium in Karachi didn't need any major changes, a lot of construction and renovation work had to be carried out at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore and the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.
A total of Rs 240 million will be spent at Rawalpindi alone. Though a Test venue, it hasn't staged an international match since December 2006. At the Gaddafi Stadium, the board will spend Rs 210 million. "The Gaddafi Stadium's seating capacity will be raised by 6500 for the Champions Trophy," Mansur said.
The PCB had given six months to the contractors to finish work at the two venues and is now expecting the facilities to be fully ready at least ten days before the start of the tournament, which runs between September 12 and 28.