Nearly all regional grounds unfit for PCB-standard matches

KARACHI: Nearly half of the 63 regional grounds are not fit to host any level of cricket matches, says a study carried out by the PCB Domestic Cricket Operations Department.Over the past five years, the PCB provided over Rs317 million to 16 regions to manage these 63 grounds. The study has revealed staggering mismanagement and misuse of funds, which resulted in the current deplorable conditions of the grounds.The exercise has revealed 27 grounds are not fit to host cricket matches of any level. The remaining 36 grounds also do not meet the standard required for PCB-organised matches. At a number of grounds, there have been no matches in the last few years. The study also found cases of ghost employees.PCB has spent Rs34.780 million on office staff from 2014 to 2019; Rs221.54 million on ground staff from 2014 to 2019; Rs36.26 million on equipment and maintenance from 2015 to 2019; Rs24.760 million on office running expenses from 2015 to 2019. According to a source, these funds were used to lure votes from the regions by the previous setup and never came under proper scrutiny.After dissolving the 16 regions and the promulgation of the new PCB Constitution on August 19, 2019, the PCB has decided it would no longer provide financial support for ground-related expenses.The PCB has decided to hand over these grounds to the six cricket associations, which will be required to develop, maintain, manage and use them as home venues in their respective jurisdictions. For now, the PCB has advised all ground owners (or those having legal rights in relation thereto) to approach the PCB directly for any assistance.

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