PCB prepares to welcome Bangladesh cricket team

LAHORE: Work at the Lahore’s Gaddafi stadium is underway in order to prepare the ground for the upcoming cricket fixture against Bangladesh scheduled later this month. According to officials, this would be the first international cricketing event within the region since last three years.

Foreign teams have shunned Pakistan since the deadly militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus during the third Test in Lahore in March 2009, but on Sunday Bangladesh agreed to a two-match tour.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) spokesman Nadeem Sarwar said, “The preparation work is fast and we are ready to host Bangladesh.” He also said that “We have had a physical inspection of the Stadium today and are gearing up for Bangladesh matches.”

Work has begun to clean the stands and replace broken seats, but with the security situation still volatile, measures to ensure player safety have taken precedence. PCB security manager Waseem Shahid said a complete plan for the arrangements will be submitted to the government for their approval.

PCB security manager Waseem Shahid said, “We will send a security plan to the federal government and as per the ICC (International Cricket Council) standards; we will put in place the best possible arrangements for the Bangladesh team,”

When Bangladesh and Pakistan line up for their 50-over match at the Gaddafi Stadium on April 29, it will bring an end to a 37-month international cricket drought within Pakistan.

Groundsman Haji Bashir, who has worked at the stadium since its inception 53 years ago, said he was thrilled at Bangladesh’s visit. “I am delighted at the prospect of preparing pitches for the matches and it is great news for the nation that we will host international games again,” Haji Bashir stated.