The iconic Sharjah Cricket Stadium is all set to expand its seating arrangements ahead of the beginning of the Pakistan Super League (PSL)’s fourth edition. Considering the huge turnout for the PSL matches at the stadium last season, the stadium management has decided to increase the capacity by 3,000 seats.
The eight PSL games at Sharjah will begin from February 20th to February 24th, and a huge turnout is expected to witness all the six teams in action.
Waleed Bukhatir, Vice-Chairman of the Sharjah Cricket Club was quoted as saying by Gulf News: “The stadium has a long history and an atmosphere that leaves an indelible mark in the minds of the fans. This is the reason why all formats of the game have been held here successfully. We want to accommodate more fans and so we have spruced up the stadium.”
The North Stand of the stadium is expected to undergo the major change, to enhance the capacity of the historic stadium.
The Sharjah Stadium also has its name in the Guinness Book of World Records for being host to the most number of ODI matches in the world.
“This is part of the revamping and development plan of the stadium. Abdul Rahman Bukhatir (who built the stadium to bring international cricket) is monitoring the development plans,” Bukhatir revealed.
Speaking on the expansion of the stadium, he added: “A specially designed and outfitted media lounge will also be functional during the PSL. The VIP area has also been refurbished for the event, including the health club and indoor pool located in the stadium premises. For us at Sharjah this is the fourth decade of promoting cricket in the region and our aim has been to invite the best of the world to enjoy the magic of Sharjah.”
The General Manager of Sharjah Cricket Club that owns the stadium, Mazhar Khan, is excited to host the fourth edition of the PSL, and speaking to Gulf News he revealed: “From 14,000 seats, the stadium will now accommodate 17,000 fans. The groundstaff are ensuring the pitches will be conducive to big T20 scores and give fans their money’s worth.”
The Sharjah spectators will be very excited to see their superstars in action yet again, with Shahid Afridi making a return to the iconic arena. Having represented Karachi Kings and Peshawar Zalmi in the previous editions, the veteran all-rounder will be turning up for the Multan Sultans this season.
Along with that, the fans will also be witnessing other superstars in action, including the likes of foreign internationals AB de Villiers, Colin Munro, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell and Kieron Pollard among other top international and local players.
Schedule of the PSL matches at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium:
20th February: Quetta Gladiators v Multan Sultans
21st February: Peshawar Zalmi v Karachi Kings
22nd February: Multan Sultans v Lahore Qalandars; Islamabad United v Peshawar Zalmi
23rd February: Quetta Gladiators v Lahore Qalandars; Islamabad United v Karachi Kings
24th February: Peshawar Zalmi v Multan Sultans; Quetta Gladiators v Karachi Kings