Dubai: The Pakistan-Australia fourth One Day International at Dubai International Stadium on Friday will be a landmark one for the venue as it celebrates 10th anniversary of hosting international matches since 2009.
The reputation of this venue, especially its world class facilities, has brought in all formats of the game here apart from the Indian Premier League (IPL), Pakistan Super League (PSL), Asia Cup and ICC Under-19 World Cup.
To commemorate the achievement, a golden coin illustrating 10 years of service of this stadium to cricket. will be used for the toss.
Interestingly, Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malek, who will be at the toss with Australian skipper Aaron Finch, had played in the first match at this venue on April 22, 2009 against Australia.
The only player from the Australian team that played in the first matches is Shaun Marsh.
Khalid Al Zarouni, president of Dubai Sports City, which owns the stadium and is also the vice-chairman of Emirates Cricket Board, said: “The past decade has been enormously successful and I’d like to thank the multiple cricket boards who have played such a major part in our collective journey, including the ICC, ACC, PCB and BCCI among others. Another contributing factor to our success has undoubtedly come from the strong groundswell of domestic support from cricket fans both here in Dubai and international fans that have travelled to our stadium to see their team play.”
Salman Hanif, senior manager of Venues and Events, Dubai Sports City, who ensures the highest standard of facilities for the players as well as fans, said: “It’s a fantastic achievement of hosting 19 international teams with over 100 international matches in just a span of 10 years. It is a happy coincidence that we are hosting the same teams who played the inaugural match in April 2009 and will mark this anniversary with the toss through a special gold coin.”
The coincidence does not confine to the same two teams as Jeff Crowe, who was the match referee for the first match will be in the same role again. The last match of this series will also be held here on Sunday.
Commenting on the venue’s decade-long service, Malek said: “I have nice memories as whenever we have played at this stadium we have won the series. Playing at this stadium is like playing at home.”