Sharjah Cricket Stadium

The Sharjah Cricket Stadium (Arabic:لشارقة جمعية ملعب الكريكيت) is in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. It holds the record for the most number of ODIs hosted in a venue with 236 ODIs up to 19 February 2018. It was originally constructed in the early 1980s and has been much improved over the years.[2] It hosted its first international matches in April 1984, in the Asia Cup.[3]

Sharjah Cricket Stadium
SCS
SharjahCricket.JPG
Sharjah Cricket Ground
Ground information
LocationSharjah, United Arab Emirates
Coordinates25°19′50.96″N 55°25′15.44″E / 25.3308222°N 55.4209556°E / 25.3308222; 55.4209556Coordinates: 25°19′50.96″N 55°25′15.44″E / 25.3308222°N 55.4209556°E / 25.3308222; 55.4209556
Establishment1982
Capacity17,000[1]
OwnerSharjah Cricket Association
TenantsUAE
Afghanistan
Pakistan Men
Islamabad United
Lahore Qalandars
Quetta Gladiators
Peshawar Zalmi
Karachi Kings
Multan Sultans
Pakistan Women
Rajasthan Royals
Sunrisers Hyderabad
Royal Challengers Bangalore
End names
Pavilion End
Sharjah Club
International information
First Test31 January – 4 February 2002:
 Pakistan v  West Indies
Last Test30 October – 3 November 2016:
 Pakistan v  West Indies
First ODI6 April 1984:
 Pakistan v  Sri Lanka
Last ODI8 December 2019:
 United Arab Emirates v  United States
First T20I3 March 2013:
 Afghanistan v  Scotland
Last T20I6 February 2018:
 Afghanistan v  Zimbabwe
First WODI9 January 2015:
 Pakistan v  Sri Lanka
Last WODI5 November 2017:
 Pakistan v  New Zealand
First WT20I15 January 2015:
 Pakistan v  Sri Lanka
Last WT20I14 November 2017:
 Pakistan v  New Zealand
As of 2 September 2020
Source: ESPNcricinfo

In 2010, at the behest of local cricketing patron Abdul Rahman Bukhatir, the Sharjah Cricket Stadium became the home ground for the Afghanistan cricket team for One Day International and First-Class matches.[4] In 2016, Afghanistan changed their home ground to Greater Noida Sports Complex Ground in Noida, India. The Multan Sultans and the Quetta Gladiators used the Sharjah Cricket Stadium for most of their home games in the most recent PSL season.

The cricket stadium also hosted the inaugural edition of the T10 cricket league, which is a 90-minute cricket league from 14 to 17 December 2017 featuring several international cricket players.[5]

The stadium also hosted the final of the 2018 Blind Cricket World Cup featuring India and Pakistan with India defeating Pakistan by 2 wickets to secure the Blind Cricket World Cup title.[6] It has 62 meter boundaries in long on and 58 meter in straight. It has 65 meter boundary in mid wicket.

Test matchesEdit

Sharjah cricket stadium is one of the few Test Cricket Grounds at which a Test match has been played not involving a home country participant (and the only one in a non-Test playing country) Sharjah was the venue for four Test matches in 2002. Because of security and safety concerns in Pakistan and its aftermath) the ground was chosen as a neutral venue to host two Test matches between Pakistan and the West Indies in February and two Test matches between Pakistan and Australia in October.

The fifth Test match held at the ground took place in November 2011, as the third Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The other games in the series were played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi and Dubai International Cricket Stadium.[7]

One Day InternationalsEdit

Between 1984 and 2003 the Sharjah ground was the venue for 206 One Day Internationals[4] held as part of commercially sponsored one day tournaments involving three or four international teams. Sharjah was a popular venue attracting good crowds mostly from the South Asian population of the United Arab Emirates. The tournaments were organised by "The Cricketers Benefit Fund Series (CBFS)" which had been established in 1981 by Abdul Rahman Bukhatir, and whose main aim was to honour cricketers of the past and present generations from India and Pakistan, with benefit purses in recognition of their services to the game of cricket. The stadium initially started with a few limited seats and very modest facilities but by 2002 had a 17,000 capacity and floodlights.

Since 2003 the increasingly crowded cricket calendar has precluded the holding of any major international matches at Sharjah although the stadium has been the venue for certain other matches, for example in the 2004 ICC Intercontinental Cup and in the 2014 Indian Premier League. It has also been used by the Afghanistan national team since 2010. A significant reason for the decline of Sharjah as an international cricketing venue is match fixing allegations. This led to the Indian government banning the national cricket team from playing at Sharjah. Since then, the new 20,000 seat Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi has become the preferred venue for cricket in the UAE.[2] In 2011, the Guinness Book of Records[8] recorded the Sharjah stadium as hosting the greatest number of one-day matches. As of December 2019, 240 ODIs had been played at the ground.[9]

ControversiesEdit

Match fixingEdit

Sharjah was the centre of Sir Paul Condon’s investigations into corruption in cricket. Although the report did not conclusively single out the venue much controversy raged. BBC Cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew said in 2001 : “Sharjah has been pinpointed as being the centre of this activity [match fixing] and, again, this is entirely plausible. I would swear under oath that two of the dozen or so matches I have witnessed on that desert ground over the years were fixed”.[10] On the other hand Sharjah tournament organiser, and former Pakistan cricketer, Asif Iqbal denied this strongly:”To my mind, all the matches in Sharjah were fair and honest cricketing encounters”.[11]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Sharjah stadium increase capacity before PSL at gulfnews.com, February 2019
  2. ^ a b Cricinfo: Sharjah Stadium Profile Archived 1 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved 23 August 2010.
  3. ^ "This day that year - Sharjah Cricket Stadium hosts its first international match". The National. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  4. ^ a b Cricinfo: Sharjah named Afghanistan's new home ground Archived 25 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved 23 August 2010.
  5. ^ "Fixtures, Schedule | T10 Cricket League | ESPN Cricinfo". Cricinfo. Archived from the original on 15 December 2017. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  6. ^ "India take on Pakistan in Blind Cricket World Cup final 2018 in Sharjah". Archived from the original on 20 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Fixtures, Schedule | Global". ESPN Cricinfo. Archived from the original on 10 February 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  8. ^ "Sharjah cricket stadium enters Guinness Book of World Records". Cricket Country. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  9. ^ Sharjah stadium stats at espncricinfo.com, March 2019
  10. ^ BBC Sport: J.Agnew Report Archived 22 July 2004 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved 23 August 2010
  11. ^ Rediff: Asif Iqbal Interview Archived 13 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved 23 August 2010
  12. ^ "Gulf International win Rashid Alleem League title". gulfnews.com. Retrieved 4 October 2020.

External LinksEdit