Sharjah Stadium to host 225th One day match

Azhar Ali to lead Pakistan against West Indies on another landmark event

Gulf News

Sharjah. The Sharjah Cricket Stadium, which has the record for hosting the maximum number of One Day Internationals in world cricket, will host their 225th match when Pakistan take on West Indies in the first of the three One-day matches of the series here on September 30.

This stadium has made preparations for a large turnout for this match which is scheduled for a Friday. This venue will also host the second One-day match of the series on October 2.

Speaking about another landmark event of the stadium, Waleed Bukhatir, the vice chairman of the Sharjah Cricket Club, said: “I expect there will not be a seat vacant on that Friday night and Sharjah stadium will come alive again. And we, at the stadium are ready to play the ideal hosts for another big night of top class cricket.”

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced that Azhar Ali will lead Pakistan in the One-day series starting from Sharjah ending all speculations that he might be removed from captaincy following the 4-1 series defeat to England earlier this month.

This stadium had hosted their first One Day International match in 1984. “The West Indies have already made their intent clear on landing here of producing a great show and they are coming in on a high after a good performance against India. Pakistan is raring to go with Sarfarz Ahmed, Azhar Ali and Mohammed Amir leading from the front and it will be a treat to watch,” added Waleed, who is the son of Abdul Rehman Bukhatir, who built this stadium and brought international cricket to this region.

Sarfraz was tipped to be the captain for the One-day series too but Pakistan selectors made it clear that he will lead the team only in the three T20 match series. Pakistan will soon announce the team and a PCB official even remarked that former captain Salman Butt, one of the three players punished for the involvement in the spot fixing scandal in 2010, could be selected. Butt has displayed tremendous form since his return to domestic cricket following the lifting of ban on him.

Mahzar Khan the general manager of the Sharjah Cricket Club and secretary of Sharjah Cricket Association revealed that the tickets for the game has commenced. “We expect people from all nationalities to be here to watch the matches. Tickets can be purchased at Kayzoonga.com, AJ Sports Sharjah/Dubai, Karachi Darbar Sharjah/Dubai, Delhi Nihari, Sharjah and Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Ticket rates start from Dh40 to Dh300.”

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India's Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates the wicket of New Zealand's Mitchell Santner during the fifth day of the first cricket Test match between India and New Zealand at Green Park Stadium in Kanpur on September 26, 2016. AFP