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August 5, 2008
The PCB has dismissed speculation that the proposed venues for the Champions Trophy won't be ready for the tournament. The venues - Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Karachi's National Stadium and the Rawalpindi Stadium - are undergoing a facelift but delay in construction work has raised doubts over the readiness of Lahore and Rawalpindi.
Shafqat Naghmi, the PCB's chief operating officer, said the work would be completed by August 20, well in time for the tournament, which starts on September 11. "When we had given the contracts for the two stadiums in Lahore and Rawalpindi, the project was divided into two phases," he told the News. "The initial phase was aimed at having the grounds ready for Champions Trophy matches, while the second phase was mostly for additional work that could be completed after the tournament.
"The first phase is almost complete while the next will be carried out before we host India for a full series," he said. India are scheduled to tour Pakistan for three Tests and five ODIs early next year.
The Rawalpindi Stadium, Naghmi said, was almost ready, with two floors built to house spectator enclosures, players' dressing rooms, media rooms and commentary boxes. "Some air-conditioning units will be fixed in the second phase at the stadium," he said. Naghmi also dismissed the impression that the media box at the Gaddafi Stadium was being shifted to the main pavilion, opposite from its current location. "We are not shifting the media box anywhere. It will stay where it and has been refurbished."
The PCB is spending Rs 500 million (approximately US$6,915,000) on the development of the three venues.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.