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Pakistan plan new cricket stadium in Islamabad

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2006, 23:53 [IST]

Karachi:Pakistani cricket authorities are planning a new stadium in the capital Islamabad to host matches at the 2008 Champions Trophy and 2012 World Cup, a senior Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official told Reuters today.

''We are acquiring land in Islamabad and will sign a memorandum of understanding soon,'' PCB director of cricket operations Saleem Altaf said.

''We are hoping the new stadium will be ready before the Champions Trophy.'' Pakistan were awarded hosting rights for the 2008 Champions Trophy and the 2012 World Cup, in a joint-bid with India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in Dubai last month.

''We only own two stadiums in Karachi and Lahore. The rest of the stadiums we have to hire from the local administrations, which is why we want to have our own venue in Islamabad,'' Altaf said.

The Pakistan board often encounter financial problems and organisational issues where the local administration has control of stadiums.

Despite being a top-ranked cricket nation, Pakistan only has six active test and international venues in Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Rawalpindi and Peshawar.

The ICC expressed reservations over the ground conditions and facilities at the stadium in Peshawar after a one-day match against India in February.

Altaf said the PCB had studied the details of a cricket stadium being built in Dubai's sports city and would try to implement some of the design aspects at the Islamabad stadium.

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