Why are they neglecting NSK?

September 30, 2016 | By

By Syed Intikhab Ali

The National Stadium Karachi has been a victim of PCB’s sheer negligence in many ways. Its great and unparalleled status is not being acknowledged. It is the place where Pakistan did not lose a Test for 46 years.

It is situated in Karachi, which is considered the biggest cricket nursery in the world having produced dozens of Test and international cricketers.

So many projects related to the NSK have not been completed, including the regional academy at NSK. It was announced in 2010, but is yet to be completed. The proposed cricket ground at NSK has not been started.

The NSK’s curator Ahsan Arian retried in April this year and there has been no replacement so far.  Informed sources said that non technical staff was looking after the wickets and the outfield. 

Ehsan was a famous curator and always maintained the NSK wickets in good shape for domestic and international matches.

The absence of a proper curator at NSK shows how little importance PCB chiefs give to the standard of the stadium.

A former Pakistan captain, who recently visited the stadium, said he was shocked to look at its condition.

Cricket grounds have their own histories and stories. No other sport can come close to the game of cricket in this regard. 

Football and hockey cannot compete with the game of cricket as far as its field is concerned. That is why England’s Lord’s and Oval, Australia’s Melbourne and Sydney, India’s Eden Garden, Kolkata, West Indies’ Sabina Park, are well-known to the world. Cricket boards give them special consideration.

Karachi’s NSK is no less important than the above-mentioned cricket grounds, but unfortunately our cricket board is ignoring it either deliberately or perhaps not knowing its importance.

It is true that due to the absence of international matches in Pakistan since the attack on Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in 2009 all stadiums in Pakistan have been presenting a deserted look but NSK is the most neglected one.

Our cricket isolation does not mean the PCB should not pay attention to these stadiums.

South Africa was out of international cricket from 1971 to 1992 due to their apartheid policies but still they took great care of their cricket stadiums.

They even invited rebel teams to maintain the standard and fame of their cricket grounds.

It is surprising that well-known former Test cricketer Salahuddin Sallu, who is also a product of this city and two years ago was appointed as adviser to PCB Chairman, has not advised PCB high-ups in this respect. He knows the importance of NSK as he has played cricket at this stadium with greats like late Hanif Muhammad and others.

Sallu must advise PCB high-ups about how the status of this great stadium can be preserved.

At NSK Hanif Muhammad, Sadiq Muhammad and Mushtaq Muhammad played together in a Test (it was late Hanif Muhammad’s last Test); it is the stadium where one of the greatest batsman Sachin Tendulkar made his debut.

Such legends as Rohan Kanhai, Sunil Gavaskar, Bishen Singh Bedi, Geoffrey Boycott, Greg Chappell, Allan Border, Clive Lloyd, Viv Richards, Michael Holding and Gordon Greenidge have played at this stadium. 

Sallu, instead of writing columns to defend the PCB’s policies, should advise PCB to complete NSK’s various projects so that it could be saved. His main job to advice the PCB how to promote, develop, preserve and strengthen the game of cricket and its associated properties like NSK, where he himself hold a good office with all benefits and luxuries.

The PCB chiefs must tell why the regional academy has not been completed and why the proposed cricket ground for first class matches has not been developed.



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