President inaugurates Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto International Cricket Stadium

Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, December 26, 2012 (PPI-OT): President Asif Ali Zardari today inaugurated Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto International Cricket Stadium here at Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, Naudero.

Addressing the gathering after the inauguration ceremony, the President said that one of the missions of the Government was to provide healthy activities for the youth so that their energies are diverted towards positive activities and away from extremism. We will continue to provide facilities for healthy sports activities, he said on the occasion.

The President complimented Pakistan Cricket Board, its Chairman Zaka Ashraf and all those who helped build the cricket stadium.

The President said that sometime back as the Patron of Pakistan Cricket Board he had asked Pakistan Cricket Board to build an international standard cricket stadium at Garhi Khuda Bakhsh as to provide an opportunity to the local children to test their skills, train and become the best in the world. This vision, he said, has been translated into reality today as the first phase of the cricket stadium has been inaugurated.

The President on the occasion also congratulated the youth of Larkana, and the whole province, on the setting up of this facility.

According to prepared text of his remarks, the President said that for years there was a sense of deprivation amongst the rural population of Sindh. Lack of sport facilities in Sindh had prevented talented youth to produce world class athletes.

He said that in the next phase, a cricket Academy with state-of-the-art facilities and best coaches to train the local players would also be set up in the area. He said that ‘I can see that quite a few players representing Pakistan internationally will come from this area.’

Noting the addition of Larkana, Dera Murad Jamali, FATA and Bahawalpur in the cricket setup recently, the President remarked that this would promote cricket across the country and upgrade skills of the local cricketers. He said that cricket was a passion for Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. Cricket, he said, is a passion for me and for millions of people all over Pakistan.’ It is a unifying force and it can be used to project the message of peace.’

Complimenting Mr. Zaka Ashraf, Chairman PCB, and his team for putting this show together in a short span of time, the President wished him and the PCB well with their plans of bringing international cricket to the country.

Chairman PCB Mr. Zaka Ashraf also spoke on the occasion and thanked the President for his personal interest in promotion of the cricket in the country.

Earlier, the President also visited the mazars of Shuhuda in Garhi Khuda Baksh and offeredFateha for the departed souls.

For more information, contact:
Surendar Valasai
Media Cell, Bilawal House
D-30, Block III, Clifton
Karachi, Pakistan
Tele: +92 21 3583 8102-3
Fax: +92 21 3537 1680-1