History of Sharjah Cricket Stadium
Sharjah Cricket Stadium is the oldest venue being used at the 2021 T20 World Cup. It opened in the early 1980s and hosted its first international match during the 1984 Asia Cup.
Apart from a quiet period from 2003 to 2010, it has been a venue for international cricket ever since. In the last decade, both Pakistan and Afghanistan have used Sharjah as a home ground when they have been unable to play in their own country.
Today it holds the world record for most ODIs at a single stadium (240). In recent years, Sharjah has also hosted the T10 cricket league and the final of the 2018 Blind Cricket World Cup.
The Sharjah Cricket Stadium has been expanded over the years and can hold up to 27,000 spectators. Crowds have often been good thanks to the large Asian expat community in the UAE.
Thanks to its world-class floodlights, the Sheikh Zayed Stadium can host day-night cricket. In fact, seven of the 11 T20I World Cup matches here will be day-night games.
Games hosted at Sharjah Cricket Stadium
The last T20I in Sharjah was more than three years ago in February 2018, when Afghanistan completed a 2-0 series win over Zimbabwe. Afghanistan are the only international team to have played more than five T20Is in Sharjah.
Away from international cricket, the Sharjah Cricket Stadium was used for six matches in the 2014 IPL when India was holding political elections and didn’t want the IPL to be a distraction.
It also hosted 12 matches in the 2020 IPL, when the tournament was moved outside India because of Covid-19. Those 12 games were often high scoring, with 8/12 teams batting first making 170 or more.
Again because of Covid, Sharjah was the venue for 10 matches in the 2021 IPL that has just finished. Those 2021 fixtures were generally low scoring. Only three of the 10 teams batting first made 140 or more.