ISLAMABAD - Administrator, Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) Irfan Nawaz Memon on Monday clarified that all the legal and codal formalities were being fulfilled to outsource six cricket grounds in the federal capital for their management, operations and maintenance.

Irfan Nawaz Memon who also holds the charge of Deputy Commissioner Islamabad said Expressions of Interest (EOI) were invited from the companies/firms registered with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), adding that the bidding process would commence from October 13.

He debunked the news appeared in some media section that the grounds auction was being done against the rules of federal apex agency, saying the outsourcing would be carried out purely on merit basis in light with directives of courts and in accordance with the CDA rules and regulations.

Talking to APP, the MCI Administrator said all the grounds remained under illegal possession by certain individuals for the last many years that had been retrieved recently.

He claimed that the clubs were collecting fees by organizing matches on their own, but had spent nothing for maintenance on the grounds; hence it was decided to auction the grounds.

Memon said the use of cricket pitches in the grounds had never been free. The government charges an amount for the use of pitch in every match, adding that the pitches can only be booked for matches, whereas no random person can play on the pitches.

After outsourcing the administrative matters, he said any club or team would be able to easily book grounds at official rates. The rate of usage of pitch would also be determined by the govt (not by the club who would be presenting the successful EOI). No one will be allowed to charge the higher rate.

He said the winning company would only run the administrative affairs and maintenance of cricket pitch, while walking and gym facilities available at the area were fully maintained by the government and remained free for public.

The cricket grounds included G-8/2 (old Diamond Cricket Ground), Bhutto Cricket Ground G-7/1, Margalla Cricket Ground G-9, National Cricket Ground F-7, Marghzar Cricket Ground Saidpur Village and Shalimar Cricket Ground main Margalla Road F-6.