10 Jan 2009

Enquiry launched after cricket ground renovation costs balloon

2:08 pm on 10 January 2009

Cricket authorities in Pakistan have halted renovations at the country's main cricket stadium in Lahore ahead of the Champions Trophy set for September, after massive irregularities were found.

The Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt says he has taken serious note of the cost overrun of the construction work at Gaddafi Stadium, and on his instructions, the work has been stopped.

The stadium was to be renovated ahead of the Champions Trophy, which was cancelled last year due to security fears and has been rescheduled, subject to security clearance, for September-October 2009.

Butt accuses previous PCB officials of awarding part of the renovations contract to a friend of a PCB officer, and ordered an independent inquiry into the irregularities.

An inquiry team is to report back in two weeks.

Cricket authorities say the cost of the project has ballooned by 471 million rupees and the point of the inquiry was to ascertain the "actual cost".