December 30, 2013

Naya Nazimabad’s Lawai Stadium ready to stage first-class cricket


By Syed Khalid Mahmood  
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The magnificent Lawai Stadium, located in Naya Nazimabad, Karachi, seems to be having all the ingredients of becoming a world-class venue in future. No wonder it’s ready to host first-class cricket matches as well as limited overs games under floodlights. 

Mohammad Iqbal, Director Sports, Naya Nazimabad, has informed that they would shortly be writing to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to allocate them some matches during the upcoming 2014-15 cricket season. 

“Having acquired all the necessary equipments after developing a stadium of the highest class we are ready to host the matches of the national competitions. We would be writing to the PCB Chairman, Najam Sethi, to let us stage the matches in the coming season,” Iqbal, who headed the MCB Bank’s Sports Division with distinction for a number of years, revealed. 

“The Lawai Stadium houses dressing rooms besides dugouts for participating teams. We have third-umpire room as well as brand new sightscreens. We have got hold of auto roller as well as the auto grass cutting machine. We have re-laid our pitches having a lot of grassy stuff. The floodlights are already there. So we have adequate facilities to hold day games as well as day-nighters,” he remarked. 

“We are confident about the PCB including our stadium in its list of venues for national tournaments next season because we fulfill nearly every condition needed to host first-class games,” Iqbal, himself a former cricketer, added. 

The Lawai Stadium is an initiative of Arif Habib, one of the leading entrepreneurs of the country, who was instrumental in developing a cricket ground of international standard in Naya Nazimabad City, a 2,100-acre housing scheme in the northern area of Karachi. He is credited to have masterminded the development of the cricket stadium on a fast track, earning huge goodwill to the mega project. 

The picturesque cricket stadium has been named after Hussain Lawai, President, Summit Bank Limited, in recognition and honour of his support and passion for cricket. Besides being a seasoned banker, he has remained a great promoter of sports over the years. 

The Lawai Stadium is first thing one comes across after entering the main gate of the Naya Nazimabad project. 

With hills on one side and the Manghopir Lake on the other, the scheme is well guarded and gated. It’s just a few minutes drive from the Sakhi Hasan roundabout in North Nazimabad. 

The construction work in the housing scheme is in full flow, much to the delight and satisfaction of the allottees, and the developed cricket stadium has ensured plenty of life in the arena much before people start residing there upon the completion of the project by the end of 2015. 

The credit for turning Arif Habib’s dream of the Naya Nazimabad Lawai Stadium into reality goes to Mohammad Iqbal, whose expertise and skills for sports administration are well known. 

He had represented the organization in the various committees as well as the Council of the Board of Control for Cricket in Pakistan (BCCP), now the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). 

The Naya Nazimabad Lawai Stadium has already hosted a major tournament recently in which Omar Cricket Club emerged triumphant in the final of the Peace Cup Twenty20 Cricket Tournament 2013 at as they overpowered Qasmi Cricket Club in the final.


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