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Peshawar one-dayer may be shifted

Karachi, May 2: A top Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official said on Tuesday that England cricketers were uncomfortable at playing matches in Peshawar on their forthcoming tour here in October.

The chairman of the PCB, Lt-Gen Tauqir Zia said although the England Cricket Board (ECB) approved the itinerary of the tour, they were reluctant to play matches in the frontier city.

"The England board wants its team to play matches in big cities like Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi," he said. England, according to the itinerary approved by the two boards, have been scheduled to play a one-day international and a four-dayer in Peshawar. The general said Yawar Saeed, director of the PCB who is presently attending

the International Cricket Council (ICC) emergency meeting at Lord's, will discuss with the ECB officials the possibility of shifting a one-day international from Peshawar to Rawalpindi.

The PCB chairman said the board was also keen to host a match at Rawalpindi because the floodlights would be installed there by mid-October.

"The board would prefer to host all the three one-day internationals under lights. If the ECB agreed, the Peshawar one-dayer would be shifted to Rawalpindi, otherwise status quo will be maintained."

The PCB chairman also expressed his disclosure that Rawalpindi had not been allocated its due share of matches involving England. "Rawalpindi is a big center and deserves more matches than it has actually been given."

Rawalpindi will play host to a four-day match which will serve as warm-up for the first test at Lahore.

The PCB chairman said the Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi stadia would go through a major facelift when the latest technology would be installed before the arrival of the Englishmen.

He said all the three stadium will be equipped with digital scoreboards and electronic screens for replays.

He said the initial cost of a screen was Rs 50 million. He said the PCB was contemplating increasing the National Stadium capacity by 3,000.