Ashraf Ali Siddiqui describes a worrying about PCB in trouble situation
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has been asked to pay Rs.450 million for providing security by the Punjab government for the matches that will be held in Lahore and Rawalpindi from 26 February to 1 March 2023. In wake of the situation, PCB in trouble and has called an emergency meeting with the owners of all the six franchises of HBL Pakistan Super League.
It is reported that this demand is in addition to the already-paid amount of Rs.50 million for the same purpose but this time the caretaker government setup in Punjab is asking for more. It was also reported that that the Punjab government had demanded a total amount of Rs.800 million for matches that were being held in the province.
Matches in Multan have already been completed with the last match in this edition of the glitzy T20 extravaganza in Karachi to be played on Sunday. Lahore is the designated venue for the final, one qualifier and two eliminators with fans in the Punjab capital as well as Rawalpindi having already bought tickets for the games.
But the PCB is taking austerity measures after suffering huge losses amounting to Rs.1billion in organising the Pakistan Junior League during the tenure of former chairman Ramiz Raja and it has made its mind not to pay such a huge amount. It is anticipated that the impending meeting may see matches set for Lahore and Rawalpindi shifted to Karachi.
In stark contrast with the Punjab government, the Sindh government had asked for Rs.30million for matches in Karachi. It is mentioned that the PCB has never paid such a huge security expense even when organising the PSL in the United Arab Emirates.
PCB Showed Serious Approach
PCB sources point out that since the PSL is a national brand, serving a huge national purpose, therefore the government should come out with open heart for it. The main security expense incurred for holding PSL matches is the installation of lights on both sides of the routes of the teams travelling from the hotels to the stadiums — 12-15 kilometres in both Lahore and Rawalpindi — with generators required to power them.
In the past, discussions were held regarding the construction of hotels closer to the stadiums in order to minimise the security expense but neither the governments nor the PCB showed any serious approach to engage private sector in getting that done. It is worthwhile to mention that the Punjab government incurred expenses of more than Rs.2.17 billion for providing security cover to the South African, Australian and New Zealand cricket teams as well as for the 7th edition of the PSL and some internal security measures. The Weekender