Playing in Dubai…is always special: Shoaib Malik

By Rajive Singh

DUBAI 28 March 2019: The countdown for the World Cup 2019 is well and truly on. Squads are busy giving the finishing touches to their preparations and are also selecting the personnel who matter.

This Friday at the Dubai International Stadium (DIS), both Pakistan and Australia will return to the venue with the World Cup in sight. The ongoing five-match ODI series currently places Australia in ascendancy, but there is still a lot at stake in the series. The five-match ODI series between Pakistan and Australia, is taking place in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, with the series climaxing at Dubai International Stadium with the final two matches on Friday, 29th March and Sunday, 31st March.

The Friday match marks the 10th anniversary of international cricket at the DIS, in an exact rematch of the Stadium’s first-ever fixture, which took place back in April 2009, incidentally between the same two sides.

Fans can therefore get a chance to not just watch their favourite players in action for the last time before the World Cup gets underway, but also be part of special celebrations to mark the 10th anniversary of DIS.

Pakistan-Australia ODI 

Pakistan’s captain for the ongoing series, Shoaib Malik is the only survivor from the Pakistan squad that played at the DIS for the first time in 2009. From the Australian squad, left-handed batsman Shaun Marsh is the only one to last a decade.

“There are many memories, because mostly whenever we have played at the Dubai International Stadium we have won all those series. All those memories will be with me forever. Playing in Dubai is like playing at home. Playing at the Dubai International Stadium is therefore so special and it has always been a pleasure to play here,” recalled Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik.

On Friday, Malik will be at the centre stage of the celebrations when he first joins his opposite number Aaron Finch at the toss with a special minted gold coin to commemorate the occasion, along side a number of other festivities that have been planned.

“The Dubai International Stadium has unique things, there is a ring of fire around the stadium as lights. Even when you fielding the ball passes the lights and then it comes to you. When the ball comes and hits the bat, there is a different sound altogether when you play in Dubai. It’s a very compact and a very different stadium. The dressing rooms and everything is so big. Whenever I play in Dubai, I always enjoy,” added Malik.

Dubai International Stadium now holds several world records of its own, including having hosted the most number of Test sides globally as well as the most amount of T20 international matches at a stadium. Other iconic and renowned cricket events to have taken place at Dubai International Stadium include the Indian Premier League (IPL), Pakistan Super League (PSL), the Asia Cup, ICC U19 World Cup and numerous other bilateral international cricket matches.

Some interesting numbers to emerge in the last decade are:

Best Bowling figures

  • Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah’s 8-41 against New Zealand in November 2018 is the best individual bowling figures in Tests
  • In ODIs, Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi’s six for 38 in the inaugural series in April 2009 against Australia is still the best
  • Imad Wasim of Pakistan has the best figures in T20 Internationals with his haul of five for 14 against Windies in September 2016

Most Wickets

  • Pakistan’s Yasir Shah is the most successful bowler in Tests with 55 scalps from seven games
  • Shahid Afridi’s 25 wickets from 14 ODIs is the best for any bowler at the venue
  • Left-arm seamer Sohail Tanvir with 22 wickets from 15 T20 Internationals is the most successful at the venue

Highest Scores

  • Pakistan’s Azhar Ali scored his maiden Test triple hundred, 302 not out against Windies in October 2016 to log the highest individual score
  • Bangladesh batsman Mushfiqur Rahim’s 144 against Sri Lanka during Asia Cup 2018 is the best in ODIs
  • Kusal Perera of Sri Lanka holds the record for the best individual T20 International score with his 84 against Pakistan in December 2013

Most Runs

  • In 11 Tests Pakistan’s Azhar Ali is the most successful with 1110 runs from 11 matches
  • Most runs in ODIs at the venue has been scored by Mohammad Hafeez with 379 runs from 14 matches
  • Afghanistan’s Mohammad Shahzad has logged the most, 382 runs from eight games, in T20 Internationals

Highest Team Totals

  • Pakistan made 579 for three declared against West Indies in October 2016 to record the best at the venue
  • England’s total of 355 for five against Pakistan in November 2015 is the highest in ODIs
  • Sri Lanka’s 211 for three against Pakistan in December 2013 is the highest total in T20Is

Fans can purchase tickets for both ODIs at Dh20 online at www.q-tickets.com. On both days gates open at 1pm, ahead of the match starting at 3pm.

Tickets will also be available to purchase from selected outlets including: Al Ghurair International Exchange, Filli Café, Arabian Orx, ARY Jewelers, Pakistan Super Market, RY Dream Destination, Con Con Restaurant, Desi & More Restaurant, Desi Deira Restaurant, Koyla Restaurant, Taj Fashion, Daily Express Restaurant and Delhi Nihari.

Dubai Gazette