His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, greets the Pakistan team during the Rothmans Trophy 1985. Also shown is Shaikh Faisal Bin Khalid Al Qasimi, CBFS chairman. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

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.

Kapil Dev in action against Pakistan during the Bukhatir International Double Wicket Tournament in April 1982. Gulf News Archives

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.

The stadium has been a magnet for cricket lovers as shown in this image during the Coca Cola Cup in 1998. Gulf News Archives

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.

India’s Sachin Tendulkar returns to the pavilion after his knock against Pakistan in the Wills Trophy. Gulf News Archives

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.

Javed Miandad holds the trophy aloft after Pakistan won the Coca Cola Cup at Sharjah on April 16, 1999. Gulf News Archives

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.

Fans celebrate after a match between arch-rivals India and Pakistan at Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Gulf News Archives

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.

Late Bollywood superstar Raj Kapoor with Indian nightingale Lata Mangeshkar at Sharjah stadium. Gulf News Archives

These were some of the ‘Sharjah thrillers’ that commentators and spectators will always savour.

Kapil Dev and Imran Khan, two legends of the game, before a match at Sharjah. Gulf News Archives