Overhaul of stadia affected by busy season June 15, 2007

Cluttered home season hampers venue renovation

Cricinfo staff



Gaddafi Stadium is due for an overhaul © Andrew Miller

Players are not the only ones affected by hectic international schedules; the PCB's plan to renovate five major stadiums is also likely to run into problems as Pakistan gets set to embark on one of its busiest international home seasons for a few years from September.

Pakistan hosts cricket with few breaks between September and October 2008. South Africa arrive first for a full series, before Australia tour for the first time in nearly a decade in March. That series is swiftly followed by the Asia Cup and then the Champions Trophy in October.

Finding time to renovate the Gaddafi Stadium (Lahore), National Stadium (Karachi), Arbab Niaz Stadium (Peshawar), Iqbal Stadium (Faisalabad) and Rawalpindi Stadium, (Rawalpindi) in this schedule is unlikely to be an easy task.

The PCB advertised last week for pre-qualification for these projects but with work unable to begin before September 1 (South Africa arrive on the 25th), board officials acknowledge there may be disruptions.

"The hectic international schedule is creating some problems for us, but we have to do this [renovation] work as there have always been international contests and if we stick to this factor, then the work will not be possible in the future, too," Shafqat Naghmi, chief operating officer, told Karachi-based daily Dawn.

Naghmi said that alternate arrangements would be made to continue construction work during the matches, adding that work on all the projects could not start simultaneously.

The newspaper added, quoting unnamed sources, that since work at the Gaddafi and National stadium would centre around media and hospitality boxes, as well as board offices, it was highly unlikely that the renovation would be complete during matches at the grounds.

Pakistan have no international commitments at home from when the West Indies tour finished late last year till South Africa's arrival, a period of some nine months. It thus raises questions as to why renovation work didn't begin in this period.