Smaller centres might get more exposure November 24, 2007

Pakistan may adopt ground rotation policy

Cricinfo staff



Hyderabad's Niaz stadium will need some work done on it before it can be ready to host an international match © Dawn newspaper

Pakistan are considering adopting a similar policy for choosing grounds for international matches to the one in operation in India.

The BCCI use a rotation policy when it comes to international matches, which ensures that smaller centres such as Guwahati have a chance to host big games as well as the traditionally larger centres, such as Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.

In contrast, the PCB, constrained by security concerns in various parts of the country, relies heavily on mainstream venues such as Lahore, Karachi, Multan and Faisalabad for hosting international matches. South Africa played all eight matches on their recent tour in these cities, including as many as three ODIs and a Test at Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium alone.

There is now a plan in place, however, to change this. Shafqat Naghmi, the board's chief operating officer, says the policy may come in to place as early as the Zimbabwe ODI series in January. "We want to give an opportunity to our smaller cities to stage one-day matches," Naghmi told The News.

The board has planned to hold the five matches in Karachi, Hyderabad, Sheikhupura, Multan and Faisalabad but may move two games to Peshawar and Sialkot. "We've seen in India they have a clear rotation policy which helps each of their centres to get a match regularly. We believe that it's a good way to have international cricket all over the country and may follow suit," Naghmi said.

But Naghmi acknowledged that considerable work would have to be done to bring up the smaller centres to a standard acceptable for international cricket. Sialkot hasn't hosted an international match for over 10 years; Sheikhupura last held an international in 1998 and Niaz Stadium in Hyderabad, in some disrepair currently, in 1997.

"We have plans to reconstruct the Niaz stadium but that would be carried out after the Zimbabwe series. Before that the board will renovate the facility," Naghmi said.