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The Sharjah Cricket Stadium, in the emirate of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, was built in the early 1980s and very quickly became a regular home for tournaments as the popularity of one-day cricket exploded following India's World Cup win in 1983. Between 1984 and 2003 the ground hosted 198 ODIs and four Tests (in 2002 when Pakistan played games there due to political instability at home), attracting good crowds, mainly from the area's large Asian expat population. It also hosted Masters (veterans) events and other second-string tournaments. All were played under the auspices of The Cricketers Benefit Fund Series (CBFS)" which had been established in 1981 by Abdul Rahman Bukhatir, and whose main aim was to honour cricketers of the past and present generations from India and Pakistan, with benefit purses in recognition of their services to the game of cricket. The stadium initially started with a few limited seats and very modest facilities but by 2002 had a 27,000 capacity and floodlights.
But when the match-fixing scandals began to emerge in the late 1990s, Sharjah's star began to wane, and although nothing was ever proved, sides started to move away, and in 2001 the Indian government banned the national side from playing there. Between April 2003 and February 2010, the venue hosted no internationals, but that changed with Associates beginning to play games there and Pakistan needing an off-shore venue because of security problems in their country. It is now, with Dubai and Abu Dhabi, one of the UAE's international venues and has even resumed Test duties.
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