Sharjah: As the third edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) shifts to Sharjah from Wednesday, Gulf News takes you down memory lane to where it all started in the UAE — the historic Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
The stadium is not just any other cricket stadia around the world — it occupies pride of place in world cricket for hosting the maximum number of One Day Internationals. This stadium deserves to be preserved as a monument of world cricket and count as a must-visit for every cricket fan around the world. If this stadium would have been located in any of the Test playing countries, it would have been regarded as a museum of the game.
Today, the International Cricket Council (ICC) honours legendary cricketers with a Hall of Fame cap. The world governing body must think of honouring stadia too for their role in making cricket popular. And if one talks about stadiums that have captured the imagination of cricket lovers around the world, the role of Sharjah in contributing to the popularity of One Day Internationals has been nothing short of enormous. It is a venue that did the impossible by bringing international cricket to a desert.
Abdul Rehman Bukhatir, who was the brain behind creating the stadium in the early 1980s, believed that the seeds of cricket, even if sowed in a desert, will blossom. And it did in Sharjah.
The stadium hosted it’s 236th match on February 19 (Afghanistan vs Zimbabwe) to stamp it’s place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the venue to host the maximum number of one-dayers. An ardent cricket fan will get goosebumps while walking into the stadium as great moments etched in memory come flooding past.
As the stadium celebrates this record, Gulf News takes you on a journey down memory lane at the venue where Pakistan’s Javed Miandad hit that famous last ball six against arch-rivals India to win the final of the AustralAsia Cup. where India’s Sachin Tendulkar played one of the greatest one-day knocks, labelled as the ‘Desert Storm’ against Australia, where Pakistan’s ‘Sultan of Swing’ Wasim Akram bagged a hat-trick on a batting paradise.
These were some of the ‘Sharjah thrillers’ that commentators and spectators will always savour.