Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the UAE 2011 August 13, 2011

Test cricket returns to Sharjah

ESPNcricinfo staff

Sharjah will host its first Test in nine years this November, after Pakistan and Sri Lanka reached an agreement to play the last of their three Tests in the UAE at the venue. The Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium has hosted more ODIs than any other ground but has not had any international cricket between top teams since 2003.

With international stadiums being built in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, it had looked unlikely that Sharjah would make a return as a venue for big matches. However, the Emirates Cricket Board has now said there will be a Test there starting November 3.

"We've finally confirmed that Pakistan will play a Test in Sharjah," Dilawar Mani, chief of the Emirates board, told the Express Tribune. "We offered Sharjah at the very beginning - apart from Dubai and Abu Dhabi - but it was necessary for both sides to agree to play in Sharjah. We're now delighted to know that it has happened."

The other two venues for the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Test series are the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi and the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, which hosted their debut Tests during the Pakistan-South Africa series in November 2010.

Sharjah was once a popular venue for neutral ODIs and tri-series and has hosted 200 one-day internationals, 24 of those between India and Pakistan. However, the venue received a blow when India, who had played 72 one-dayers in Sharjah, stopped playing there. The ground hosted its debut Test in 2002, but after 2003 did not have any international cricket till it was named as Afghanistan's home ground in 2010, and hosted two ODIs between them and Canada.

The stadium had disintegrated in the absence of top-flight cricket but is now being brought back up to top standard. "The renovation work is in full swing and we hope to be ready by November 3," Mazhar Khan, the stadium administrator, said. "The venue was very keen to host a fixture during the two series that Pakistan will be playing [in the UAE]. After all, Sharjah has many Pakistani and Sri Lankan followers who will now be able to watch their teams."

Sri Lanka will play three Tests, five ODIs and a Twenty20 international against Pakistan from October 18 onwards in the UAE.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sameer on August 16, 2011, 19:34 GMT

    welll finaly but the stadiums seats have broken and the facilites arent tat great compared to the stadiums these however i hop tey wil lok to repair or even renowate i hop

  • Raafey on August 16, 2011, 15:28 GMT

    Sharjah was once a very popular stadium pak and sri lanka are playing each other, i hope pak win misbah needs to play in match situation and hafeez, u akmal, asad shafiq, azhar ali needs to be more sensitive he always edges the ball he has to work on that and the bowlers like gul , riaz, junaid khan need advice from waqar he is a rolemodel

  • Dummy4 on August 16, 2011, 15:23 GMT

    plz pakistani fans dont hurt the indians ,their team has already hurt them a lot , they have excuses all the time accordng 2 thier fans india lost the 1st 2 tests because sehwag was not playing n then in the third test with a king pair sehwag showd his true class .. indians shame on your team realy wid 38 years old sachin n dravid ,36 years old laxman 32 years old sehwag in the team n stil beaten by such big margins in all 3 tests is realy shameful.. last year pakistan wd 22 years old azhar ali,19 years old umer akmal ,20 years old umer amin n 18 years old m.amir performed 100 tmes betr than d present experiencd indian team..

  • Dummy4 on August 16, 2011, 15:00 GMT

    @ Indian rockers 2015, you call Pakistan flat track bullies , where does that leave India who cannot play the short ball, the swinging ball, or for that matter any ball that has the slightest unpredictability...... England have hammered you senseless....

  • Sakthi on August 16, 2011, 8:21 GMT

    @ Mansoor Iqbal : Better watch old matches of 90's, Where there only you can win.

  • Dummy4 on August 16, 2011, 4:40 GMT

    @sreesam. Winning one match in 4 yrs time and celebrating crazy about it shows the desperation of indians like you. If i say you guys have yet to beat us in Champions trophy , the harder version of a world cup as where only test match sides play what sense would that make? Does it matter? No, because what matters is the overall record. Pak has superior overall record against India in both ODIS as well as TEST matches. (oh btw sorry for your team in the ongoing series, because a weak, dismal Pak batting line up held its on and even managed to win one TEST match again this very England side, in these very conditions last summer).

  • Sirsak on August 16, 2011, 1:40 GMT

    we should all agree to play in sharjah as it is a fantastic stadium.

  • zill on August 15, 2011, 18:43 GMT

    its good to know about this news .Sharjah is just like our 2ND home here our players feels like they are playing at home condition.but i will say that Pakistani team have the guts to play at any condition.Bowlers are performing very well from last few years on very few occasion that any team scored 300 against them.the real Number 1 team always play well not only in their country but out side too.

  • nayan on August 15, 2011, 12:50 GMT

    this will be good venue for flat track bullies (pakistan batsmen)...........

  • safwan on August 15, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    @ sreesam ... calm down son, a bit of humility helps. especially when you've been trounced 3-0 in the worst possible manner. a few teams in test cricket history have been beaten by 200, 300, and an innings and 240 runs in successive test matches!

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