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

Test cricket returns to Sharjah

ESPNcricinfo staff
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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

  • POSTED BY sameer997 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

  • POSTED BY Andrabi10 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

  • POSTED BY 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..

  • POSTED BY 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....

  • POSTED BY Sakthiivel on | August 16, 2011, 8:21 GMT

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

  • POSTED BY 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).

  • POSTED BY murali800 on | August 16, 2011, 1:40 GMT

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

  • POSTED BY zill7 on | August 15, 2011, 18:43 GMT

    its good to know about this news .Sharjah is just like our 2ND home venue.so 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.

  • POSTED BY indian_rockers_2015_champs on | August 15, 2011, 12:50 GMT

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

  • POSTED BY safwan_Umair 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!

  • POSTED BY sameer997 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

  • POSTED BY Andrabi10 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

  • POSTED BY 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..

  • POSTED BY 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....

  • POSTED BY Sakthiivel on | August 16, 2011, 8:21 GMT

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

  • POSTED BY 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).

  • POSTED BY murali800 on | August 16, 2011, 1:40 GMT

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

  • POSTED BY zill7 on | August 15, 2011, 18:43 GMT

    its good to know about this news .Sharjah is just like our 2ND home venue.so 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.

  • POSTED BY indian_rockers_2015_champs on | August 15, 2011, 12:50 GMT

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

  • POSTED BY safwan_Umair 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!

  • POSTED BY smartguy786 on | August 15, 2011, 4:53 GMT

    Great news for Pakistan cricket, lets hope th team chosen matches the fans enthusiasm

  • POSTED BY on | August 15, 2011, 4:39 GMT

    I thought i would never be able to see that day when cricket returns on the abandoned sharjah stadium, once the apple of the ODI cricket....I dont mind taking the next flight to see this happen....thank you Sri Lanka for making this happen...

  • POSTED BY sreesam on | August 15, 2011, 1:21 GMT

    Pakistan can only win in Sharjah...but when it comes to the real tournament, the World Cup, they choke big time against India...the competiiton that separates the men from the kiddies!!

  • POSTED BY AAK.PAKISTANI on | August 14, 2011, 21:36 GMT

    @goldeneye075, do we have to ask you where we want to play our series? I think you are affarid of India facing Pakistan in Sharjah and Pakistan repeat history of 90s

  • POSTED BY muxa on | August 14, 2011, 20:59 GMT

    its great to read that cricket return to sharjaH HOPEFULLY IT WILL RETURN SOON TO PAKISTAN INSHALLAH!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY on | August 14, 2011, 19:28 GMT

    bring it on! please bring back India to sharjah to face Pakistan again and we'll teach the world champions a good lesson!

  • POSTED BY CricketChat on | August 14, 2011, 12:40 GMT

    While it is good to play in neutral venues like Sharjah, I think it is better played in the native countries. ODI and T20 are better options for Sharjah.

  • POSTED BY abidj on | August 14, 2011, 11:35 GMT

    First of all, its brilliant to have international cricket back in Sharjah, one of the most historic venues in world cricket. As for those who are skeptical about test matches in Sharjah (people like goldeneye075) by stating that matches are played on flat batsmen friendly tracks, etc etc, just so you know the facts, there have been four test matches played in Sharjah in which all four have produced a result. Hence it completely dumbfounds some people's theory that Sharjah has flat boring batsmen friendly pitches.

  • POSTED BY silversam1 on | August 14, 2011, 7:47 GMT

    Good, about time.....Pakistan vs. India in Sharjah again?? Seems tempting.

  • POSTED BY getsetgopk on | August 14, 2011, 7:45 GMT

    ah what a lovely ground sharjah has been some fine memories and oh yeah that famous six of miandand, so great to revisit this historical ground where india got beating of a life time at the hands of pakistan in the 90's

  • POSTED BY Amjad.Khan on | August 14, 2011, 6:56 GMT

    Nice to see Pakistan playing in UAE...

  • POSTED BY goldeneye075 on | August 14, 2011, 6:46 GMT

    why does ICC allow to play test cricket at this flat track?? it will kill test cricket... Sri lanka were prepared to host them , but PAK didn't like it ... any way it's a wast of time to play test cricket at Sharjah.. Result will be a dull draw, with batsman bulling bowlers all over the park.. a sorry site..

  • POSTED BY on | August 14, 2011, 4:32 GMT

    If we are to find the real #1 test team all teams should play against one another at the same time at a neutral venue instead of the present flawed system. Hopefully Sharjah could point in that direction.

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2011, 23:21 GMT

    welcome back sharjah!.... give T-20's and ODI internationals to sharjah as well. I've seen that stadium, its not in good shape but a perfect venue to set a world class party. Imagine T-20 World Cup final here. It would be electrifying :)

  • POSTED BY johnathonjosephs on | August 13, 2011, 21:45 GMT

    Thank you for reintroducing Sharjah. They should have many tournaments there as that was the one of the main reason for cricket's development among the arab nations (Afghanistan particularly). Sharjah is full of young businessman with loads of cash and guaranteed the stands will be full of those rich partying men and will bring a lot of money to the ICC. That aside, Sharjah has hosted great cricket. Really missed watching the two legends Jayasuriya and Tendulkar dominating in Sharjah matches. Miss Akram and Waqar bowling in Sharjah too.... Ahh the memories

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2011, 20:45 GMT

    WOW man! SHARJAAAAAAAHHHHHH . Its reminds me of PAkistans COMPLETE DOMINATION over India in the 90's at this venue. Its always a cherished memory for any Pakistani. Lol i remember India stopped playing at Sharjah due to those humiliating losses .

  • POSTED BY DONinSA on | August 13, 2011, 20:00 GMT

    i am happy and sad too,, happy for the reason that sharjah is hosting international cricket again, sad for the reason that i lived there from 2003 to 2007, now i moved to south africa, in that time i couldn't watch any cricket in sharjah stadium, visited many times though, used to sit down there in empty stadium and rethink of many many great performances by Pakistan. WELCOME BACK SHARJAH.... And i hope Tony Craig will be the commentator there. lol

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2011, 17:19 GMT

    Lanka would love to play in sharjah, many happy memories. Pls bring back the Triangulars or Quadrangulars.

  • POSTED BY soilder09 on | August 13, 2011, 16:07 GMT

    and what about ODI as its mostly attract spectators to the ODI and also they should bring back the sharjah cup once again between the asian nations, like a tri series between pakistan, india and srilanka as its would do greater degree of devolopment of the asian cricket board also pakistan should host their version of PPL (PAKISTAN PREMIER LEAGUE)

  • POSTED BY AJ_Tiger86 on | August 13, 2011, 15:50 GMT

    So will world no. 1 England play a test match in Sharjah too?

  • POSTED BY mensan on | August 13, 2011, 15:38 GMT

    Good to see Sharjah back. Certainly a venue with more happy than bad memories for Pakistan!

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2011, 15:36 GMT

    so what india had 3 shameful defeats in england, they are still no 1 team in the world as long as new rating wont be published...!!

  • POSTED BY crictonite on | August 13, 2011, 15:30 GMT

    I used to love all the tri-series held in Sharjah in the 90s. Hopefully, the reintroduction of the Australian Tri-Series in February will bring back the format. Bilateral series are fun, but we need mini tournaments between ICC events to keep things interesting.

  • POSTED BY crictonite on | August 13, 2011, 15:30 GMT

    I used to love all the tri-series held in Sharjah in the 90s. Hopefully, the reintroduction of the Australian Tri-Series in February will bring back the format. Bilateral series are fun, but we need mini tournaments between ICC events to keep things interesting.

  • POSTED BY crictonite on | August 13, 2011, 15:30 GMT

    I used to love all the tri-series held in Sharjah in the 90s. Hopefully, the reintroduction of the Australian Tri-Series in February will bring back the format. Bilateral series are fun, but we need mini tournaments between ICC events to keep things interesting.

  • POSTED BY ABRAR-JANJUA on | August 13, 2011, 15:19 GMT

    Now india must stop playing Test cricket in England.Can they do it???

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2011, 14:54 GMT

    Yeah!!!Sharjah Again!!!!Love to see matches in Sharjah again.One of my Favorites.and one of Jayasuriya's Favorites.Also remids me of Chaminda's Vass SIX over the park.Welcome back SharjaHHHHHH!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY sunnysaeed on | August 13, 2011, 14:54 GMT

    dats the great news ... hope we will see more cricket for pakistan with other teams

    ... why not organise the triangle or 5 ODI series wid India and pakistan.

  • POSTED BY asithaSL on | August 13, 2011, 14:09 GMT

    My fava8 cricket ground.... Love 2 c SL - Ind - Pak ODI battle on Sharjah again...!!!

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    gud news......lyk sharjah

  • POSTED BY Saim93 on | August 13, 2011, 13:56 GMT

    Another thing which was ousted due to indias influence! Great news by the way!

  • POSTED BY mihir_nam on | August 13, 2011, 13:52 GMT

    Yes Welcome Back ..Hope they can again host Triangular or Quadrangular in Dec and April.. Pakistan Bangladesh and invite associates

  • POSTED BY AndyZaltzmannsHair on | August 13, 2011, 13:41 GMT

    The UAE, HOME OF PAKISTANI CRICKET. Not Indian!!

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2011, 13:14 GMT

    Excited to watch a match at dream ground :)

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2011, 12:17 GMT

    i know india is No#1 side in the world but in england against england just like afghanistan team,Shame for india

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2011, 11:58 GMT

    Gonna need some work done. Last I saw, Sharjah looked like it had just been left to rot.

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2011, 11:52 GMT

    Well India will be getting hammerd every where Out Of India Thay Just can play in india No where else see what is Happning to them In england Omg I think zimbawe can play better then Indian In forgine Pitches

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2011, 11:49 GMT

    Great News for Cricket, for Cricket Lovers and Most Importantly for Sarjah.. Welcome Back as an International Venue of Cricket.

  • POSTED BY nzcricket174 on | August 13, 2011, 11:40 GMT

    Great venue good to see it back.

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2011, 11:38 GMT

    sharjah is one of my fav stadiums...it will be interesting to see how the crowd over there reacts to this great news....

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2011, 11:16 GMT

    Oh!God Sharjah!!!!!Love hear even that word again.Jayasuriya's one of the Favorite grounds.I always wonder why too many of cricket not going in that ground now as past.Love to see matches in Sharjah again.

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2011, 11:14 GMT

    Thats good news 4 Sharjah, and all Pakistani fans

  • POSTED BY South_Indian on | August 13, 2011, 11:05 GMT

    India stopped playing at Sharjah coz they are too scared. How many matches we saw them getting hammered humiliatingly by Pakistan and SL. So they dont want to play there, unable to bear further losses. Even now Pak will beat Ind at Sharjah, given any team.

  • POSTED BY Mcgrath-Dravid-Flintoff on | August 13, 2011, 11:05 GMT

    how i miss the matches of the 90's

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    Congrat Sharjah. I like this venue.

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  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    Congrat Sharjah. I like this venue.

  • POSTED BY Mcgrath-Dravid-Flintoff on | August 13, 2011, 11:05 GMT

    how i miss the matches of the 90's

  • POSTED BY South_Indian on | August 13, 2011, 11:05 GMT

    India stopped playing at Sharjah coz they are too scared. How many matches we saw them getting hammered humiliatingly by Pakistan and SL. So they dont want to play there, unable to bear further losses. Even now Pak will beat Ind at Sharjah, given any team.

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2011, 11:14 GMT

    Thats good news 4 Sharjah, and all Pakistani fans

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2011, 11:16 GMT

    Oh!God Sharjah!!!!!Love hear even that word again.Jayasuriya's one of the Favorite grounds.I always wonder why too many of cricket not going in that ground now as past.Love to see matches in Sharjah again.

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2011, 11:38 GMT

    sharjah is one of my fav stadiums...it will be interesting to see how the crowd over there reacts to this great news....

  • POSTED BY nzcricket174 on | August 13, 2011, 11:40 GMT

    Great venue good to see it back.

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2011, 11:49 GMT

    Great News for Cricket, for Cricket Lovers and Most Importantly for Sarjah.. Welcome Back as an International Venue of Cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2011, 11:52 GMT

    Well India will be getting hammerd every where Out Of India Thay Just can play in india No where else see what is Happning to them In england Omg I think zimbawe can play better then Indian In forgine Pitches

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2011, 11:58 GMT

    Gonna need some work done. Last I saw, Sharjah looked like it had just been left to rot.