Dubai, Aug 14: Sharjah will play host to its first Test in nearly a decade, later this year. The teams facing off at this venue will be Pakistan and Sri Lanka in their third encounter of the Middle Eastern series. The ground has hosted more one-dayers than any place in the UAE, nut has no witnessed any international action since 2003.
With new stadiums coming up in Abu Dhabi and Dubaui, the likelihood of matches being played elsewhere in the Emirates were slim. But now the Emerates Cricket Board has announced taht the Pakistan vs Lanka test will unfold there on NOv 3 this year.
"We've finally confirmed that Pakistan will play a Test in Sharjah," Dilawar Mani, chief of the Emirates board, told a leading newspaper.
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 the location of tgheir maiden Tests during the Pakistan-South Africa series in November 2010.
Sharjah was once a sought after venue for neutral ODIs and tri-series and has played host to 200 one-day internationals. Of this number, 24 encounters have been between India and Pakistan.
But the venue received a setback when India, who had played 72 one-dayers in Sharjah, stopped visiting. 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.
Sri Lanka will play three Tests, five ODIs and a Twenty20 international against Pakistan from October 18 onwards in the UAE.