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Page last updated at 19:08 GMT, Friday, 9 January 2009

Lahore stadium work a 'disaster'

Ijaz Butt
Butt was angry with the work commissioned by previous PCB bosses

Renovation work on Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium has been stopped with immediate effect by the Pakistan Cricket Board.

The PCB said the project was a "monumental disaster".

The present administration, led by chairman Ijaz Butt, has released a statement placing the blame squarely on the men they replaced last August.

The work began in February 2008 and was due to be completed in late August, in time for the Champions Trophy, which was eventually postponed by 12 months.

A budget was set at Rs142m (1.19m), the statement claimed, but had overrun to such an extent that the final projected cost was Rs471m (3.94m).

The project involved building a new VIP enclosure at the stadium.

"The design is faulty - huge columns have been constructed which have blocked spectators' view," said the statement.

"Hospitality boxes have been ill-conceived and huge dining-room areas have been left at the back of the boxes which have very little utility," claimed the statement.

"There has been a huge cost overrun. The whole project is a monumental disaster, utter wastage of PCB funds and is a tribute to the management ego and vision of grandeur."

Meanwhile, Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi faces an investigation after being accused of slapping a spectator during a domestic first-class match on Friday.

A TV reporter and cameraman both claim to have seen Afridi, who was playing for Habib Bank, slap an autograph hunter after play had ended against Pakistan International Airlines.

Afridi denied the allegations.

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