PCB indentifies potential venue for hosting international matches in Mirpur – Cricket News Update
The Pakistan Cricket Board, in a quest to bring about a revival of international cricket in the country, has singled out the Quaid-e-Azam stadium in Mirpur as a venue that holds potential for hosting international cricket matches.
“It is a potential venue with a good law and order situation,” explained the PCB's director of international cricket, Intikhab Alam. “We have scrutinised various venues around the country and this venue has all the features to be an internationally recognised
stadium. There are things that obviously have to be improved and the PCB will ensure all the required facilities for international fixtures. The city has quality logistic facilities, including hotels.”
Located in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Mirpur is a self-governing state under the control of Pakistan. The stadium, the control of which has been handed over to the PCB, has the capacity to hold a crowd of 16,000, and has hosted several matches, including
a number of Under-19 international matches in 2007 against Australia.
“The stadium has all the basic requirements for cricket but the PCB was keen to develop it and raise it to international standards,” said region's cricket coordinator Fazal-ur-Rehman in an exclusive talk with
ESPNCricinfo, confirming that the stadium's rights had been signed over to the PCB this Monday. “This part of the region is fine from the security point of view.”
It was security concerns that put any end to the prospect of hosting foreign touring teams in Pakistan, after a terrorist attack on the visiting Sri Lankan team during 2009 in Lahore left several players injured and a number of civilians dead. Since then
teams have been reluctant to tour the country, and while the PCB has managed to convince squads such as a British Universities XI, and countries like Afghanistan and Canada, to tour the country, teams such as India and Bangladesh have either expressed hesitation,
or flat out refused.
In light of this, the Quaid-e-Azam stadium in Mirpur appears to be a viable choice for bringing international cricket back to Pakistan. While there are 4 international standard Test venues, and 25 first-class venues in Pakistan, the PCB has been forced to
host the team’s home series in countries such as the UAE. The Men In Green will also be playing an upcoming series against Australia in Sri Lanka later this year.