Sharjah: The Sharjah Cricket Stadium, which has quenched UAE cricket fans’ thirst for top-class cricketing contests in the region, will be buzzing with action from August 25. Arrangements to provide the best facilities to the star-studded Australia, Pakistan and Afghanistan teams visiting the country have commenced.
Speaking to Gulf News, Mazhar Khan, the Administrator of Emirates Cricket Board and secretary of Sharjah Cricket Council, said: “We are gearing up to stage the 205th match of this stadium, which has already entered the Guinness World Records for staging the maximum number of One-day International games when we stage the Afghanistan-Australia One-day match. This will be followed by the first One-day International match of the Pakistan-Australia series on August 28 and the third One-day match on September 3.”
Thousands of Afghanistan fans that live in and around the stadium will get to see their country meet the top Australian team for the first time in a One-day match. This stadium also staged Afghanistan’s first-ever One-day match against Pakistan during the Pakistan-England series here.
“Afghanistan has a national team that is definitely on the rise. I think it’s the responsibility of every cricket-loving country to develop the game and to reach out to a country in need,” said Waleed Bukhatir, vice-chairman of the Sharjah Cricket Club.
Bukhatir also said that International Cricket Council (ICC) Development Programme and Cricket Australia deserved to be applauded for strongly supporting emerging associate member countries in developing their skills and so too Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, chairman of Emirates Cricket Board, for all his initiatives in supporting cricket.
The Afghanistan Cricket Board Chief Executive Officer, Dr Hamid Shinwari thanked Abdulrahman Bukhatir, the founder of cricket in UAE for providing Sharjah stadium as their home venue. “As one of the new cricketing nations, we are grateful for the opportunity to play against one of cricket’s first and greatest nations. The value of the match in terms of increased experience as well as confidence and skill-building will be immeasurable.”
Sharjah match schedule:
One-off match: August 25 — Australia vs Afghanistan
First One-day: August 28 — Sharjah Pakistan vs Australia
Third One-day: September 3 — Sharjah Pakistan vs Australia