Islamabad-The staff of cricket grounds, which are being managed by the Capital Development Authority, have not been paid salaries for the last two month.

The situation has gone from bad to worse since Capital Development Authority (CDA) forcibly took possession of a few grounds. The CDA took control of National Cricket Ground F-7, Karachi Company Ground G-9, Bhutto Cricket Ground G-11, F-11 ground and G-10 ground in recent past.

Islamabad Mayor Sheikh Ansar, who is also holding the charge of CDA chairman, had made tall claims and promised to ensure free of cost cricket as he was highly concerned over hefty amount of money being charged by the individuals who were running the affairs of the aforementioned cricket grounds. However, Ansar firstly backed from promise of taking back all cricket grounds. Secondly, on huge pressure from media, he unlocked National and Bhutto Cricket Grounds and deputed CDA staff to look after both grounds. However, no heed was paid to the salaries of the ground staff, besides maintenance of grounds.

When contacted by this correspondent, Ansar surprisingly showed his unawareness about the fact that ground staff are paid employees.

The CDA chief avoided reply when asked why political persons, especially chairman of one particular union council, who is not actually elected from the constituency where Bhutto ground falls, is threatening ground staff and every other day tries to make entry forcefully in the ground on late hours.

When asked on what grounds chairman of UCs are authorised to open offices at cricket grounds, Ansar replied, “We have to take all on board. We need support to ensure that youth enjoy cricket free of cost.

However, he failed to justify who will pay salaries to ground staff and ensure maintenance of these grounds.

Sh Ansar in his last conversation with The Nation had promised to formulate a committee comprising representatives of CDA and Islamabad Regional Cricket Association, senior sports journalists, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other stakeholders, but nothing has been done in this regard so far.

When contacted, a senior office-bearer of Islamabad Region Cricket Association on condition of anonymity confirmed that the Region is paying salaries to ground staff and utility bills, besides maintaining grounds and preparing pitches.

He said the CDA during the last two decades had not spent a single penny on these grounds and now all of a sudden they are claiming grounds as their property. It will be a great injustice to Islamabad Region and especially thousands of players who practice and play matches at these venues.

A young cricketer wyile talking to The Nation said that around 200 boys of 6 clubs and Bhutto Cricket Academy practice at Bhutto Cricket Ground. He said all such players will suffer it the situation remains the same.

He said that it is high time for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and PCB Chairman Shahryar Khan to take notice and provide justice to the youth of the capital before it is too late.