ISLAMABAD     -        Pakistan’s premier tournament Quaid-e-Azam Trophy is only a few months away and Metropolitan Cooperation Islamabad (MCI) Mayor Sheikh Ansar Aziz is in no mood to let Islamabad Regional Cricket Association (IRCA) take possession of the federal capital’s cricket grounds.

All the cricket grounds, especially the National Ground, were the first class venues for last several years, but thanks to Mayor Islamabad and his close aide Abid Kiyani, not a single Quaid-e-Azam Trophy match was played on National Ground.

Abid Kiyani, with the help of Mayor Sh Ansar and MCI/CDA Sports Directorate, has occupied National Cricket Ground, Bhutto Cricket Ground and a few other grounds, where near and dear ones are allowed to utilise all the facilities while on the other hand, the deserving youth and club cricketers are being deprived of playing at these grounds.

The corporate sector, private clubs and certain individuals, who pay hefty amount to utilise these cricket grounds, are fully busy in playing at these venues, while the youth and club cricketers, who are the future of Pakistan cricket, always keep on waiting to get a better ground to exhibit their prowess and excel at higher level.

A number of complaints were lodged with the Chairman CDA and Mayor Islamabad regarding misuse of cricket grounds. They were informed of heavy amount being charged form different clubs and clubs, who were practicing at these venues, were not allowed to even practice at these cricket grounds.

Bhutto Cricket Ground has produced a number of Test cricketers and countless international and first class players. It was smoothly being run by the IRCA while six clubs were practising at the venue and enjoying free of cost coaching, cricket gears and regular matches. Bhutto Cricket Academy Chairman Ch Ajmal Sabir and Malik Hassan Asghar were doing a remarkable job by providing free gears to all deserving kids and were bearing all the expenditures including of top coaches.

Nisar Khan was especially hired to train and ensure regular matches, but the conspirators, some eight months back with the help of MCI/CDA sports department, made an effort to destroy future of the youngsters by disturbing Ch Ajmal and his working, which has started costing the youth dearly.

Ever since Ajmal and Hassan Asghar were forced to stop helping the youngsters, the things have gone from bad to worst. Not a single match was given to club players while Bhutto Cricket Academy has been closed because no one is ready to bear the expenditures. It is high time when an independent inquiry should be conducted against MCI/CDA Sports Department responsible persons.

On the other hand, National Ground was occupied by Mayor’s close aide Abid Kiyani some three years back. National ground administrator Shabbir Ahmed was working day and night to ensure clubs enjoy training and matches at the venue and also arranged first class, diplomats and chamber matches. The Imran Khan Talent Hunt Programme was also launched at the same venue but he was punished just because of his affiliation with PTI, but it is very sad to notice that despite running from pillar to post and passage of more than eight months, no PTI leader bothered to help him.

Shabbir was not given possession of the National Ground despite having valid court orders. The result is the ground is in shambles while outfield is completely destroyed, the roofs of several rooms have damaged and pitch is unplayable, but Mayor is unmoved and government isn’t ready to act.

It is high time when the PM, PCB Chairman and MD must take notice of the situation and play their role in vacating Islamabad cricket grounds from the mafias as any further delay can further aggravate the situation.