The International Cricket Council (ICC), the world governing body on cricket, tweeted photos of the Gwadar cricket stadium, challenging the world to show a more “picturesque venue.”
The pictures of the stadium built among the uneven mountains of Gwadar, Balochistan, have gone viral on social media, attracting the attention of the ICC, which then took to the Twitter to express its views.
“Show us a more picturesque sports venue than the Gwadar cricket stadium in Balochistan”, it tweeted.
Fakhar Alam, a Pakistani singer, shared the stunning photos of the stadium on his social media, which went viral and were also shared by the ICC. Alam also posted a short video on Twitter, inviting the world cricket teams to come and play on the stadium. “Come check out the beauty of Balochistan; come check out Gwadar, our newest sports city.”
Prominent Pakistani cricketer Wasim Akram also shared his thoughts on Gwadar stadium, saying that it’s got to be “one of the prettiest ground in the world.”
South African cricket player Tabriz Shamsi called Gwadar Stadium his third most beautiful place after Cape Town’s Newlands and India’s Dharamshala. South Africa’s Dale Steyn also admired the photos.
The cricket ground situated along the mountains and the sea in Gwadar offers a fascinating view.
Whereas, responding on ICC’s post, social media activists from Balochistan are talking about the beauty of Gwadar Stadium and the ban on entry of local players in the stadium.
A twitter user Shakur Baloch shared a photo of Gwadar fences and wrote that “it is also Gwadar.”
Commenting on the video, the locals of Gwadar said that the beauty of Gwadar was seen by the world and if they had felt our sorrow and anxiety, the situation here would have been better today.
Elias Baloch is a second year student at Gwadar Degree College and a local cricketer. He told The Balochistan Post News that our local cricket teams are not allowed to go there.
“If international are going to be played here, we will be happy, but in the shadow of helicopters and guns, foreigner players might not feel comfortable,” Elias said.
Elias says that the people of Gwadar are not against the development but the progress we are seeing today is making us feel terrible that we have become strangers in our own city.
It should be noted that Gwadar is a coastal city of Balochistan as well as the center of the CPEC project and the residents of the city have been protesting against the lack of basic facilities on a daily basis.
Recently the fencing of Gwadar city by the government also created a massive outcry by local Baloch citizens and politicians. The issue also echoed in Balochistan parliament.
It is pertinent to mention that since the 1948, it’s the fifth insurgency going on in Balochistan for last 2 decades. Baloch people owning a different culture, language, history and an independent land before Pakistan, claim that Pakistan has “illegally occupied” their land and exploiting their resources.
It should be noted that in May 2019, a pro-independence armed group, Baloch Liberation Army attacked the four star PC Hotel in Gwadar and reportedly occupied the hotel for 26 hours.
BLA spokesman Jeeyand Baloch said in a statement that the attack targeted Chinese and other foreign investors.