Hyderabad's Niaz Stadium has a long way to go before it is ready for international matches
The stadium has been neglected by its administration
Hyderabad's Niaz Stadium may have to wait another couple of years before it is fit to host a high-profile international or domestic fixture. In the state it's in right now, it couldn't even host a local game. The stadium, which was constructed in 1959 and has hosted ICC Cricket World Cup fixtures in the past, has been deemed unfit to host international games due to its unacceptable conditions and neglect by the administration. A one-day international between the touring West Indies and Habib Bank Limited in 1997-98 was abandoned after a protest against the sub-standard accommodation facilities. In a 50-over game against Zimbabwe in 2008, the ground staff had to fill patches on the outfield with sawdust. The stadium has also been used as a helipad for transporting VIPs. The stadium and the ground, despite being handed over to the Pakistan Cricket Board, has been neglected, which has resulted in the cancellation of many first class matches. The stadium has also been commercialised and the Qasimabad Municipal Committee is charging players to hold matches. Organisers have to pay Rs10,000 per day for provincial level matches and Rs5,000 for district level games. The charges have been determined under the Local Government Ordinance. Chief Municipal Officer Hatimullah said that the charges will help fund the renovation work. The authorities say a plan has been prepared to ensure the stadium is good enough to host Pakistan Super League (PSL) fixtures. The administration has written a letter to Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah about the renovation of the stadium. With the PCB trying to host international and PSL games across the country, turning a blind eye to the stadium's condition will not help the board's cause.