Niaz Stadium

Published: Saturday, January 1, 2000, 18:23 [IST]
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Niaz Stadium, Hyderabad is situated in the heart of the third most populous city of Pakistan. It first staged first-class cricket in 1962 and in 1972-73 hosted the first of its five Tests when Pakistan drew with England. The last Test was 12 seasons later, Test cricket's 1000th game, when Pakistan drew New Zealand.

The ground staged the World Cup match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in 1987 when a capacity crowd of 15,000 watched the hosts register a narrow victory. The last ODI was in 1997-98, and the end of the stadium as a credible venue came in when West Indies' tour match later that season against Habib Bank was abandoned after a protest against sub-standard accommodation facilities.

Since then the stadium has fallen into a state of disrepair and the lack of acceptable accommodation nearby has also meant that it has been overlooked. The outfield during the last ODI played there was so poor that gaps had to be covered with coloured sawdust.

While the Pakistan board has shown that it is willing to take charge of the ground and renovate it, it remains in private hands and so continues to decline. As long as that situation remains, there is no future for the Niaz Stadium as a major venue.

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