Poor state of general stands lamented

December 14, 2019

RAWALPINDI: Amid all the renovation and uplift work at the Pindi Stadium, the Pakistan Cricket Board has totally forgotten the plight of the poor cricket fans, who can only pay for the General...

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RAWALPINDI: Amid all the renovation and uplift work at the Pindi Stadium, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has totally forgotten the plight of the poor cricket fans, who can only pay for the General Stand’s tickets to watch their heroes in action.

There are hardly a few cricket grounds left around the world where general public is asked to sit on concrete stairs to watch play.

The situation at the Pindi Stadium even got worse on Friday due to overnight rains that left the concrete wet and totally uncomfortable for those turning up to watch third day’s play. Though rain and bad light played decisive role on Friday, what little action was there it was watched by general public while sitting on bare concrete stairs.

“I bought Rs50 ticket for the opening day to watch Test cricket’s return to Pakistan. In chilly weather, it is always difficult to sit continuously on concrete for well over six hours. I am an ardent fan and cannot even miss single day of international match. We have waited for over 15 years for the return of Test cricket in Rawalpindi. But look where we are sitting. I have heard that the PCB has spent over Rs500 million on the upgradation of the stadium. Where the amount has been spent? Whether that amount has only been spent on making sitting cosier for the privileged one. They were already having a good time. Look what the PCB has done for us,” Asim Ali, an ardent club cricketer, said.

He waited all day in a hope for the restart of action. “I have spent this time at General Stand, sitting, standing and sometime holding the iron barricade around the stadium. It was too cold and uncomfortable to sit on a wet concrete all the day.”

General Stands have got the capacity of around 12000 spectators, and are considered the biggest stands at the stadium. “If they cannot manage chairs at the stands because of the fears of capacity reduction, the PCB can at least make seating comfortable for the general public by installing wood boards at the concrete stairs. This way the general public can take a sigh of relief while watching cricket in wet or hot sunny condition. There is a dire need for the upgradation of General Stands and related facilities,” he added.

This scribe put this question to Ehsan Mani, chairman of the PCB, during his visit to Media Centre on Thursday.

“We have spent good amount on the Pindi Stadium and can do more. What we need is the legal possession of the stadium first. I cannot divert whole cricket promotion amount on stadium’s renovation unless and until we have the legal possession. The government has assured me of the lease deal and I am confident that soon the matter would be resolved amicably,” Mani said.



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