The PCB's chief operating officer, Shafqat Naghmi told 'The News' yesterday that ''all the essential development work'' at the Gaddafi Stadium here and the Rawalpindi Stadium would be completed by August 20. He rejected speculations that Pakistan would not be able to make the grounds available for Champions Trophy matches because of delays in construction work.
''When we had given the contracts for the two stadiums in Lahore and Rawalpindi, the project was divided into two phases,'' Naghmi said.
''The initial phase was aimed at having the grounds ready for Champions Trophy matches, while the second phase was mostly additional work that could be completed after the tournament,'' he said.
''The first phase is almost complete while the next phase would be carried out before we host India for a full series,'' he added referring to India's tour of Pakistan to play three Tests and five One-day Internationals. The tour is to start from the first week of next January.
According to Naghmi, the Pindi stadium is almost ready with two floors built to house spectator enclosures, players' dressing rooms, media rooms, commentary boxes.
''Some air-conditioning units will be fixed in the second phase at the stadium,'' said Naghmi.
Pakistan are to host the Champions Trophy matches in Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi from September 12 to 28 and are spending about Rs 500 million to improve the facilities at the three venues.