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January 22, 2020

Bunda Stadium to get new turf

Sports

January 22, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Sports Board has approved the relaying of the artificial turf at the Naseer Bunda Hockey Stadium and has given the successful bidder a June 2020 deadline to complete the process.

Mohammad Azam Dar, PSB’s Deputy Director General (Technical), told ‘The News’ that the project will cost Rs90 million. “Director General PSB Mrs Amna Imran has given the go-ahead to the project and has released Rs90 million. The successful bidder has been asked to complete the work by June 30. Hopefully all work — civil as well as related to the turf’s relaying — will be completed on time,” he said.

The new hockey turf at the Bunda Stadium is known as Condore Grass Ultra PE 13 7008 and is approved by the International Hockey Federation. The government has approved Rs523 million for such turfs at six centres. Besides Islamabad, new turfs will also be relayed at Wah, Faisalabad, Quetta, Peshawar and Abbottabad.

“The Bunda ground will be handed over to the successful bidder in the next couple of days after which the civil work will get underway,” Dar said. Surprisingly, no headway has so far been seen on the other sites.

All these venues, where the turfs are to be relayed, are considered as nurseries of Pakistan hockey.

The almost 15-year-old turfs are posing different challenges for the players. Many have been injured as the surface has become slippery due to lack of artificial grass. The ball speed also gets faster because of it.

“We are on it and hopefully the remaining amount for the other turfs will be released soon. We know that the laying of these turfs is very important for Pakistan hockey. Efforts are on to get the remaining amount and start work on these venues,” another PSB official said.

He admitted that hockey required a grand operation on all fronts and laying of turfs is very important.

“We have to admit there is a dearth of artificial hockey turfs in the country. Club players hardly get opportunities to play on artificial turfs and that results in faulty technique,” he said.