sharjah cricket stadium

The Storied Legacy of Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Sharjah Cricket Stadium stands out among the UAE’s world-class sporting venues due to its rich history, raucous crowds, innovative offerings, and record-breaking matches over the last 40 years. Cricket Stadium, the country’s first international cricket ground, has hosted some of the game’s biggest stars and fueled the UAE’s passion for cricket since its inception in 1982.

Sharjah Cricket Stadium remains the country’s premier destination for live international cricket, with a seating capacity of 16,000 spectators and cutting-edge facilities such as indoor training nets, floodlights for night games, and VIP suites. As the Sharjah Cricket Stadium enters a new era of events, let us look back at its history, memorable moments, and future plans.

Genesis is the UAE’s First Cricket Venue

Cricket took longer to establish itself in the UAE, which was founded in 1971, due to a lack of adequate facilities. Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, the forward-thinking ruler of Sharjah, envisioned building the Gulf region’s first dedicated cricket stadium to host tournaments and matches. After acquiring 22 acres of land, construction began in the early 1980s.

Given the Sharjah government’s critical leadership and funding, the venue was appropriately named Sharjah Cricket Stadium, which was later officially rechristened Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium. When the Sharjah Cricket Stadium officially opened on October 1, 1982, it sparked the UAE’s now-famous passion for cricket at all levels.

Instantly Hosting International Stars

Despite its modest initial capacity of 11,000 spectators, Sharjah Cricket Stadium quickly attracted big names by hosting several early Asia Cup tournaments in 1984, 1986, and 1988. Fans enjoyed seeing India’s Kapil Dev, Pakistan’s Imran Khan, and Sri Lanka’s Arjuna Ranatunga compete in Sharjah.

All of the top national cricket teams, including Australia and South Africa, have scheduled competitive and warm-up games against the UAE squad at Sharjah Cricket Stadium. It quickly gained a reputation for welcoming cricket greats.

The New “Home” of Pakistani Cricket

Given long-standing visa issues for certain nations and players that prevented them from hosting home matches, the Pakistan Cricket Board chose Sharjah Cricket Stadium as their de facto national venue for much of the 1990s and 2000s. Pakistani legends such as Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhtar, Shahid Afridi, and Inzamam-ul-Haq drew particularly enthusiastic crowds in Sharjah.

Generations of Pakistani fans in Sharjah and Dubai benefited from having easier access to see their heroes compete in person rather than traveling back home. Unforgettable performances, last-ball thrillers, and bitter rivalry clashes with India were etched into Pakistan cricket history, particularly at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, forging a unique bond.

Sachin Tendulkar’s Dominant Run

While Sachin Tendulkar holds numerous all-time batting records. His incredible career statistics at Sharjah Cricket Stadium may outweigh all other accomplishments. Tendulkar defeated Pakistan with some of his most dominant and critical innings in Sharjah between 1988 and 2011.

Two specific back-to-back centuries in 1998 stand out in fans’ minds, with both securing high-pressure run chases for India in the final overs. Later, in 2011, a lap of honor for one of Tendulkar’s final appearances demonstrated the mutual affection between the world’s best batsman and the Sharjah crowd.

Expansion & Innovation

By the late 1990s, the Sharjah Cricket Stadium’s capacity had been increased to 16,000 through the addition of covered seating blocks. Further improvements, such as lighting towers, allowed for the first day-night matches of up to 60 overs in 2010. The stadium also built an ultramodern indoor training facility called the Sharjah Cricket Academy to help develop local talent.

Sharjah Cricket Stadium introduced the unique open-air pool deck Enclosures in 2015, bringing VIP luxury to live cricket events with poolside views, 5-star hospitality, and access to an exclusive lounge. Minor upgrades continue to improve fans’ visibility and comfort.

Memorable Tournament Moments

While innumerable records have been broken by legends of the game at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, several tournaments like the Champions Trophy. Desert Storm Series, and Triangular ODI competitions have showcased epic performances to remember, such as:

  • Javed Miandad hit a last-ball six to defeat India in 1986.
  • Brian Lara’s 500-plus run aggregate set in 2002. Desert Storm
  • Abdul Razzaq clinched 2003 South Africa Series for Pakistan

Virat Kohli stole a tight Pakistan won the 2016 Asia Cup T20 contest and went undefeated in the 2018 Pentangular Trophy, highlighting their next-generation ambitions.

As the UAE’s interest in cricket grows, Sharjah Cricket Stadium’s world-class facilities are being upgraded to accommodate larger events. Major tournament hosting goals include the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, Asia Cup 2023, ICC Women’s World Cup, and even the glamorous Indian Premier League.

Ongoing hospitality improvements and infrastructure to enhance the experience position as a front-runner for hosting any global tournament. In the coming years, shaded seating, entertainment, and concession upgrades will ensure fan comfort.


Finally, Sharjah Cricket Stadium’s illustrious 40-year history has cemented its reputation as the UAE’s premier cricketing destination. Offering unforgettable matches, electrifying crowds, and nonstop amenities. The stadium has an unrivalled legacy, having hosted virtually all of the world’s cricketing greats. From Tendulkar to Wasim Akram, at their peak. As embarks on a new chapter aimed at hosting even larger global tournaments. Fans around the world anticipate many more iconic sporting moments at the renowned venue.

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