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December 6, 2019

Finally, the wait is over for Pindi Stadium

Sports

December 6, 2019

The long wait is over as the Pindi Stadium is ready for the return of international cricket following 13 years of drought. During this period only domestic events and that too in patches were hosted by the venue.

Sri Lankan team, due to arrive here in a couple of days, will be playing their first ever Test match in Pakistan since the team’s bus was attacked in Lahore in 2009.

The first Test that will kick off at the Pindi Stadium from December 11 will also be the first ever to be held in the country after that unfortunate incident that closed the doors of international cricket for Pakistan.

Though Zimbabwe, Kenya and Sri Lanka teams have visited Pakistan in recent years to play limited-over cricket, however Test cricket is returning to the country for the very first time in 10 years. The last time Pindi Stadium hosted an international match in 2006 when the One-Dayer against West Indies had to be abandoned due to rough weather. Months earlier to that washout, India played One-Dayer at the venue. It was in 2004 that Pakistan played its last Test at the Pindi Stadium against India and then this long arduous wait started.

For Potohar region, the wait for the international cricket is almost over now as Sri Lankan team is set to reach here for the first of the two-match series starting with the first Test from December 11.

“We have been waiting for long for the return of the international cricket in the country especially at Pindi Stadium, which is accessible not only to the Rawalpindi and Islamabad fans but also to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Central Punjab fans. The city provides the best setting to the fans around,” Faisal Suleman, a local club cricketer said.

He said he was not alone waiting for the return of Test cricket. “Hundreds of other local club players have also been waiting for restart of the international cricket.

“Besides Test we are also waiting for the start of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches. We are happy that Pindi Stadium has been picked as a venue for the PSL 2020.”

Following renovation, Pindi Stadium gives a fabulous look, especially with the addition of far-end Media Enclosure that has been recently raised.

Almost three years back, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Governing Board had approved Rs2 billion for the upgradation of Pindi and Multan stadiums. Almost Rs200 million was spent on the newly-constructed Media Enclosure that besides hosting print and electronic media persons would cater the needs of official commentary units and all accredited persons associated with the international matches or coming PSL matches.

The Media Enclosure, located at the second floor, has the seating capacity of almost 180 media persons. A sizeable hall (for food and press conferences) and newly-constructed rest rooms are also part of that third floor. Comparatively smaller rooms-cum-halls are made available at the first floor for commenting teams.

Upgradation of the players’ pavilion has also been done. The outlook of the pavilion building hardly gives any real change except the stairs that take players down and up to the dressing rooms are being properly covered. The washrooms and other facilities within the building have also been upgraded.