A plan of what the new Islamabad stadium will look like
International teams have always been scared to travel to Pakistan since March 2009 after the Sri Lankan team were attacked by militants, but in a desperate attempt to revive the sport in their country, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have announced that they will be buying bulletproof buses to ensure the safety of any team that comes to their shores.
The attack on the Sri Lankan national team left five of their players and a reserve umpire injured, while six policemen and two civilians were killed in the crossfire.
Since the horrific attack, Pakistan have now played all their ‘home’ series in the United Arab Emirates.
But, the road to reviving cricket in the country could almost be at an end after the PCB successfully hosted two matches between the World XI and Pakistan XI in Karachi.
The PCB noted that they rely heavily upon the government to provide security for any visiting team, but added the bulletproof buses as an extra protective measure.
The idea for the bulletproof buses was approved at the PCB governing board meeting in Abbottabad.
A statement released by the PCB said: “To ensure best security protocols for international teams, the Board of Governors unanimously approved the purchase of bullet proof buses, the members noted that the step would enable the PCB to achieve higher security measures for the teams visiting Pakistan in future.”
Besides working on improving security, the PCB have also been scouting out locations for new international stadiums, while also getting their old stadiums up to International Cricket Council (ICC) standards once again.
During the governing board meeting, the PCB also agreed to spend Rs 12.5 million to upgrade and develop the Abbottabad cricket stadium.
Earlier in the year, the PCB also agreed to build, what is expected to be, the biggest stadium in the country after finding a 35-acre piece of land in Islamabad.
According to the board, the new stadium could have a capacity of 50,000 people.
“The board unanimously decided to name the stadium after Mohtarma Shaheed Benazir Bhutto,” the PCB statement said.
The stadium will also have its own cricket academy and lodging facilities.
The PCB and Capital Development Authority (CDA) have established a Memorandum of Understanding, which states that the PCB will receive 70 per cent of the revenue generated by the stadium, while the remaining 30 per cent belongs to the CDA.
The issue of the proposed Pakistan Premier League was also brought up during the meeting.
“The board was updated on the progress thus far and a roadmap was shared with them, the board appreciated it as a positive initiative for the revival of international cricket in Pakistan,” the statement added.
The Pakistan Premier League is scheduled to take place in late March 2013, right after the national team return from their tour to South Africa, which ends on March 24.
To improve the level of domestic cricket in the country, the PCB also sanctioned the use of Kookaburra balls.