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Thread: Educate the ignorant: Sharjah

  1. #1
    Evil Scotsman Furball's Avatar
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    Educate the ignorant: Sharjah

    Few questions about Sharjah as a cricket venue:

    1. What's the story behind Sharjah hosting the most ODIs of any ground? I know Pakistan played a few tests there in 2002 against Australia, but was Sharjah ever a 'home' venue for teams other than this? Or was it simply a case of broadcasters cashing in on the growing popularity of the format in the subcontinent, and paying teams handsomely to come to the Emirates and play ODI tournaments?

    2. Why did England not play there until 1997?

    3. Why is Sharjah no longer used as an international venue?

  2. #2
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend _Ed_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GingerFurball View Post
    3. Why is Sharjah no longer used as an international venue?
    That's one I've always wondered about.

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    Sharjah was never a home venue IRC, they used to host loads of trinations and bilateral series there, famously Tendulkar took Warne apart in a couple of matches at Sharjah. I believe the matches were basically funded by wealthy Arab businessmen who then sold the rights to broadcasters. Sharjah was sort of the hay day of ODI cricket, they were absolutely churning out the fixtures and they were generally pretty popular too. However it was also the epicentre of the match fixing scandal and this brought an abrupt end to matches there. Don't know why England didn't go till 1997, probably because they just weren't too keen on ODI cricket and certainly not additional matches outside the regular tour programme.

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    Evil Scotsman Furball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oitoitoi View Post
    Sharjah was never a home venue IRC, they used to host loads of trinations and bilateral series there, famously Tendulkar took Warne apart in a couple of matches at Sharjah. I believe the matches were basically funded by wealthy Arab businessmen who then sold the rights to broadcasters. Sharjah was sort of the hay day of ODI cricket, they were absolutely churning out the fixtures and they were generally pretty popular too. However it was also the epicentre of the match fixing scandal and this brought an abrupt end to matches there. Don't know why England didn't go till 1997, probably because they just weren't too keen on ODI cricket and certainly not additional matches outside the regular tour programme.
    So basically a far better, more official versions of the Stanford week in Antigua, as opposed to being part of say, a tour to India or Pakistan in the 1990s?


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    Global Moderator nightprowler10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by _Ed_ View Post
    That's one I've always wondered about.
    Yeah as oitoitoi said, match fixing scandals saw it lose ODIs for good.
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    International Vice-Captain Noble One's Avatar
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    Sharjah was an interesting stadium with a rich ODI history, would love to read a book that details the games, events, controversy that arose from Sharjah. For a period during the late 90's, Sharjah had hosted twice the ODI games compared to any other stadium in the world.

    Sheikh Zayed Stadium is obviously the way forward for the UAE. I was really impressed by the look and atmosphere of the stadium during the recent Pakistan v Australia ODI games. The pitch had a similar feel to Sharjah, slow, low, turning.

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    Global Moderator nightprowler10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noble One View Post
    Sharjah was an interesting stadium with a rich ODI history, would love to read a book that details the games, events, controversy that arose from Sharjah.
    Same here.

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    Global Moderator nightprowler10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GingerFurball View Post
    So basically a far better, more official versions of the Stanford week in Antigua, as opposed to being part of say, a tour to India or Pakistan in the 1990s?
    I just realized what your location is. I've been in Glasgow all week and am leaving your lovely city in the morn. Surprised to see an actual cricket fan resides here.

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    First Class Debutant Naumaan's Avatar
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    For me there are two reasons for Sharjah not hosting any cricket these days
    1. Match fixing scandles
    2. I saw the stadium is almost broken, means it's not in a good condition
    the man behind Sharjah games is involved into Dubai Sports city cricket stadium, so can't say that the Arab businessman is not involved in cricket now

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    First Class Debutant Naumaan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noble One View Post
    Sharjah was an interesting stadium with a rich ODI history, would love to read a book that details the games, events, controversy that arose from Sharjah. For a period during the late 90's, Sharjah had hosted twice the ODI games compared to any other stadium in the world.

    Sheikh Zayed Stadium is obviously the way forward for the UAE. I was really impressed by the look and atmosphere of the stadium during the recent Pakistan v Australia ODI games. The pitch had a similar feel to Sharjah, slow, low, turning.
    here are few events that i remember
    1. Miandad last ball 6 to win against India
    2. Aqib javaid's 7 wickets against india, including a hattrick
    3. Sachin's 2 great back to back innings against Australia
    4. Sanath jayasuria's 189 (i guess) against India
    5. Pakistan finally able to beat south africa after 6 years ( i guess)
    scored only 140 something & south africans were 70/1 or something like that & Shoaib Akther destroyed them in one over
    in the final, PAT SIMCOX keep on giving comment that Pakistan can't win, but Pakistan defeated south Africa & he didn't come back for experts comments lol
    6. Zimbabwe defeating india, then in the next game they were beaten by the Tendulkar
    7. Pakistan winning so many games ( cuz of playing so many games)
    that's all i remember about events happened in Sharjah
    another one, there were a couple of test matches also, but none came to watch(except carl Hooper's wife)

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    Evil Scotsman Furball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightprowler10 View Post
    I just realized what your location is. I've been in Glasgow all week and am leaving your lovely city in the morn. Surprised to see an actual cricket fan resides here.
    Haha, you picked a great week weather wise. Probably the best weather we'll get all year.

    Cricket's actually the 2nd most played sport behind football in Scotland, and one of Glasgow's cricket grounds has the distinction of hosting the first ever football international.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GingerFurball View Post
    Few questions about Sharjah as a cricket venue:
    Some partial answer have already been provided but I'll have a go:
    1. What's the story behind Sharjah hosting the most ODIs of any ground? I know Pakistan played a few tests there in 2002 against Australia, but was Sharjah ever a 'home' venue for teams other than this? Or was it simply a case of broadcasters cashing in on the growing popularity of the format in the subcontinent, and paying teams handsomely to come to the Emirates and play ODI tournaments?
    It was for donkey's the only ground in the country, and there were until about 2001/02 at least a couple of tri-series' there per year. Thus, it built-up a stack of ODIs far quicker than, say, Lord's, Eden Gardens, Gaddafi Stadium or The Wanderers - all of which are merely one of a multitude of ODI-hosting grounds in their country.
    2. Why did England not play there until 1997?
    Were invited countless times, just didn't want to. The laissez-faire attitude to ODIs around these parts until very recently was pretty much the only reason. Even the first time they went, a rank experimental side was picked (and duly won the competition handsomely).
    3. Why is Sharjah no longer used as an international venue?
    Superseded by the new stadium in Abu Dhabi. That and the ICC made an effort to stop the tri-series' that were staged there by stating that a ODI series had to accompany a Test tour. This was principally in order to regulate regularity of cricket and attempt to douse some of the match-fixing flames.
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    International Captain stumpski's Avatar
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    I thought England sent an under-strength side there in the mid-1980s, captained by Norman Gifford and including the likes of Colin Wells and Rob Bailey? If not Sharjah, where was it?

  14. #14
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Everyone tends to forget about that because it was such a nothing tournament. Apparently (never looked it up before TBH) it was a four-way one between Australia, India, Pakistan and England, in 1984/85.

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    At first it surprised me that a cricket fan didn't know about the history of cricket in Sharjah but on second thoughts it was probably wasn't very important outside the sub-continent. But for someone growing up in the mid-80's the India-Pakistan games at Sharjah were huge. Javed's last ball six in particular was an iconic moment. Of course those games have come under a cloud after the match-fixing scandals and probably today they don't mean much to even subcontinental fans under the age of 20.

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