PSL 9: PM Kakar asks PCB to organise matches across Pakistan

News Desk
Workers watering the ground at the National Stadium in Karachi. — AFP/File
Workers watering the ground at the National Stadium in Karachi. — AFP/File

  • PM says cricket plays important role in culminating national spirit.
  • Directed immediate restoration work for Quetta, Peshawar stadiums.
  • Stressed efficient elections of PCB Management Committee.

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has directed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to devise a comprehensive strategy for organising the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season 9 cricket matches nationwide, The News reported.

Chairing a meeting to discuss the board's affairs on Monday, the premier was briefed by officials that the cricket league would be held in February 2024, with matches to be hosted in Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, and Multan.

During the meeting, PM Kakar emphasised the need to keep 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 stressed that success in every field could only be achieved through teamwork, and the Pakistan cricket team could unite and accomplish great things. He also emphasised the need to promote the sport in remote areas 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 is 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. The meeting was told that Pakistan would host the Cricket Champions Trophy.

PM Kakar and meeting attendees were informed that the number of cricket associations in the country had increased from six to 16, which would highlight the regional talent. Additionally, construction of cricket infrastructure is underway in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Gujranwala, Peshawar and Bahawalpur.

Gaddafi Stadium Lahore, National Stadium Karachi and Multan Stadium are being converted to solar energy. The meeting was also apprised of the measures being taken for the promotion of women’s cricket in Pakistan.

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

Commenting on the meeting, former PCB member Shakil Shaikh took to X and lauded the PM for being “firm and principles”. Shakil said the PM met Zak Ashraf and told him to improve his performance or else. He refused to give him powers for long-term decisions. He told Zaka to hold elections immediately.