LAHORE  -    The Punjab Horticulture Authority (PHA) has withdrawn its notification regarding taking back all cricket grounds in Lahore city from respective clubs. “The notification has been withdrawn in the larger interest of cricket, and the clubs using these grounds will continue to use them,” said Khawaja Nadeem Ahmad, former president, Lahore City Cricket Association while tsaid in a video message on Monday.

He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan was the driving force for this initiative as he informed him (PM) about the development and highlighted negative impact of taking back of grounds from the clubs.

“We are thankful to the prime minister for resolving the issue for uplift and betterment of club cricket,” he said.  “The prime minister as a legendary cricketer and role model cricketer had served country’s cricket with pride and his timely intervention to save the club cricket, will long be remembered.”

Khawaja Nadeem said PHA’s earlier notification left the organisers and scores of players, who were using these 25 grounds of the city in shock as they were deprived of the facility.

When contacted, an official of the PHA confirmed withdrawal of the notification.

According to a press release issued by Lahore Region Cricket Association, the development came after a meeting between higher authorities of LRCA and PHA Lahore held on Monday afternoon in the office of Director General PHA. LRCA delegation included Shahrez Abdullah Khan President LRCA, Wasim Anwer Secretary LRCA, Ahmed Ayaz Khan Member LRCA, Masood Anwer Member LRCA, Hafeez ur Rehman, Chief Selector LRCA and Abid Hussain spokesman.

It was unanimously decided in the meeting that the affairs of PHA Cricket Grounds will remain under control of Lahore Regional Cricket Association as per Memorandum of Understanding signed between LRCA and PHA on 15th June 2016. It was also decided that all developmental and maintenance expenses of cricket grounds now will be borne by concerned cricket clubs with immediate effects. It was further decided that PHA will not issue any fund or technical support to improve the conditions of cricket grounds in future. The standard of cricket grounds will be monitored by Lahore Regional Cricket Association and those clubs who would not be able to maintain the standard of ground will be removed from the grounds and new cricket clubs will be adjusted in place of such clubs.