ISLAMABAD - Islamabad Regional Cricket Association (IRCA) President Shakil Shaikh has said that Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Ahmed Chaudhry has assured him of all-out support for cricket promotion in the region.

Talking to The Nation, Shakil Shaikh said: “A few elements are trying to misguide the government and trying to deprive the youngsters of Islamabad of playing quality cricket at one of the best cricket grounds of the country.

“I talked to Fawad Ch, as irrelevant persons are trying to be over-smart and presenting completely false picture of Islamabad grounds. I conveyed the information minister the exact picture as we are elected association of the capital and maintaining grounds for last several years,” he added.

The IRCA President said that Fawad Ch was full of praise for Islamabad grounds and their sincere efforts for promotion of cricket. He acknowledged the association’s role and services. He said he knows the role of the elected associations being controlling authority of their respective areas. “The grounds in Islamabad, except National Cricket Association (NCA), which was handed over to an irrelevant individual Abid Kiyani, are professionally looked after by the elected ICA,” he said.

“It is a world over practice that cricket grounds are kept under the control and management of the elected associations and hoped that the present government will ensure all the cricket grounds of federal capital should be handed over to the respective association to ensure quality cricket and youngsters future remain in safe hands,” Shakil said.

“also I informed the minister about the ground realities and very soon, we will hold meeting with the PM in this regard. Our mission is to help the youth of the country and provide national cricket team fresh blood,” Shakil concluded.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi paid a surprise visit to Diamond Cricket Ground the other day. He was briefed about the facilities being provided to the youngsters and also informed about how many international players this region and ground have produced.

The minister lauded the services of Islamabad Regional Cricket Association for promotion of cricket in the region. He also interacted with the players and told the youngsters that he also played first class cricket, which is his passion, but due to his official commitments, he doesn’t have time to fulfill his passion. “Soon I will spare some time and play cricket with them,” he added.