As cricket fans tighten their seat belts for another edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in the UAE, we take you down memory lane to where all the action started – in the desert at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
The stadium is not just one of many cricket stadiums around the world. It occupies a pride of place in the history of world cricket for hosting the maximum number of One Day Internationals in the game. This stadium should be preserved as a monument of world cricket. It should be a must visit for every cricket fan around the world. If this stadium would have been in any of the Test playing countries, it would have been a museum of the game.
Today, the International Cricket Council honours only legendary cricketers with a Hall of Fame cap. The world body must think of honouring stadiums too for their role in making cricket popular. And the role of Sharjah in contributing to the popularity of One Day Internationals is enormous. It is a venue that did the impossible by bringing international cricket to a desert.
Abdul Rehman Bukhatir, who created the stadium in the early 1980s, believed that the seeds of cricket if sown in a desert too will blossom. And it did in Sharjah.
On February 19, the stadium hosted its 236th match to further stamp its place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the venue that has hosted the maximum number of one-dayers. An ardent cricket fan will get goosebumps while walking into the stadium as great moments etched in memory will come flooding past.
Gulf News takes you on a tour of the stadium… the ground from where Pakistan’s Javed Miandad hit six in the last ball against India to win the match.
India’s Sachin Tendulkar played one of the greatest one-day cricket knocks labelled as the sandstorm knock against Australia.
Pakistan’s Sultan of Swing bowling Wasim Akram bagged a hat-trick on a batting paradise. These were some of the ‘Sharjah thrillers’ that commentators and spectators savoured. Let’s go on a journey down the wicket.