A cricket stadium in the capital of Pakistan have been long overdue. The rumors and the arrangements have been there for years, but now, finally, all relevant departments seem to have come to an agreement and a decision has been taken to establish the first cricket stadium in Islamabad.
According to reports, after several discussions, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has decided to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) allowing it to construct a cricket stadium in the city.
According to the agreement, 35 acres of land at Shakarparian will be allotted to the cricket boatrd for the cricket stadium.
Following the completion of the project and the construction of the stadium, CDA will be entitled to 30 percent while the cricket board will get the remaining 70 percent of the earnings through domestic and international games at the stadium.
Initial plans suggested that the stadium will have a seating capacity of 50,000 people, a cricket academy, a five star hotel and other related facilities.
Concerns against the stadium in Islamabad
Perhaps the biggest reason why a stadium was never constructed in the city was the criticism that Islamabad cricket stadium received over the location of the project. Shakarparian is the central forest area of the capital and is often referred to as the “heart of the city”. Along-with already happening deforestation, construction of a stadium has been rejected by the people.
Former ICC President, Ehsan Mani, has also rejected the idea.
“Islamabad does not have a big population and doesn’t need a big stadium which will become a white elephant. [Large stadiums] are often economically nonviable and difficult to maintain.”
Mani, the former ICC official, believes that building a stadium in Shakarparian will cause irrevocable damage to the federal capital and immensely damage the environment.
“If the board wants a bigger stadium it should upgrade the Pindi Stadium which is just 6km away from Shakarparian,” he added.