Dubai International Stadium, previously known as the Dubai Sports City Cricket Stadium, is one of the most iconic cricket stadiums in the UAE. Over the past decade, it has hosted major international and domestic tournaments, including the most prestigious cricket leagues like Pakistan Super League (PSL) and Indian Premier League (IPL). Some of the best cricketers like Shahid Khan Afridi and Michael Clarke have demonstrated their incredible talent in front of a packed house.
All about the Dubai International Stadium
While cricket in the UAE was once synonymous with Sharjah, the Dubai International Cricket Stadium has made a mark with cricketing fans in its 10 years of existence.
The popularity of the stadium as a world-class international cricket venue is as impressive as the reputation of Dubai and the UAE as a cricket hub in general. The decision to move The International Cricket Council’s headquarters barely a kilometre away from the stadium has added to the popularity of the venue.
Located in Dubai Sports City, this sports facility stands out because of the type of floodlights used. Almost all stadiums in the world have light towers. However, at the Dubai International Stadium, the sky lights up thanks to the ‘ring of fire.’ This is comprised of 350 floodlights installed at the round roof of the stadium stands. The beautiful and effective model was designed by Canadian architect, Awsam Matloob. The Dubai Cricket Stadium’s capacity is 25,000.
Besides cricket, we have seen this stadium used for entertainment events. Here, we shall look at the brief but illustrious history of the stadium, the facilities on offer, its capacity and more.
Dubai International Stadium – A Brief Cricketing History
The Dubai International Stadium is one of the best sports stadiums in Dubai. Since its inception, a total of 13 test matches, 34 One-Day Internationals and 61 Twenty20 Internationals have been hosted here. The stadium’s role of playing hosting the ‘home’ matches for Pakistan over the last decade on a regular basis also deserves a mention.
Out of a total of 108 international matches, 60 involved the Pakistan team. The first of a five-match ODI series held at the stadium was between Pakistan and Australia, who were world champions at the time on April 22, 2009. The first test match was played between Pakistan and South Africa in November 2010.
When the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) started its own T20 League, they choose this stadium as the host for the opening ceremony and the final. Matches of the Pakistan Super League were held in Dubai for four seasons before moving back to the home country in 2020.
Similarly, the 25,000 seater Dubai Cricket Ground hosted Indian Premier League matches back in 2014 when the tournament moved out of India briefly. Hence, the stadium has hosted two of the most popular T20 cricket leagues.
Another distinct achievement is that the stadium is one of the few places where day and night test cricket has been played.
Outstanding Performances at the Dubai International Stadium
There have been some brilliant performances by international cricketers in Dubai. Naturally, with Pakistan playing their home games in the UAE, you could expect them to dominate in terms of numbers.
The Azhar Ali Triple Century
In 2016, the current Pakistan captain hammered a triple hundred in Dubai against the West Indies. It was a memorable inning for the top-order batsman and remains the highest score made in the stadium.
Of course, dozens of international venues have hosted many more tests matches but not many players have scored a triple hundred there. It was certainly a historic cricketing moment. The is the highest score made in any Dubai cricket stadium matches.
Saeed Ajmal 10-Wicket Haul
Another tremendous performance came from Pakistani off-spinner Saeed Ajmal.
In 2012, in the opening test against England, the spinner bagged a 10-wicket haul. England was coming in as one of the top sides in the world. Pakistan was able to trounce them in the test matches 3-0 and it all started at the Dubai Cricket Stadium.
Global tournaments at the Dubai Cricket Stadium
Let’s now talk about some major international fixtures.
The ICC World T20 Qualifier 2019 was held in the UAE, with some contests being played in the Dubai Cricket Stadium. It was a high point for UAE cricket fans, as such a high stakes tournament was held in the country. Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Ireland, Namibia, Scotland and Oman qualified for the next round.
The other notable tournament was the Asia Cup in 2018 during which popular international teams, India and Bangladesh played in the Dubai Stadium and contested in the final. India emerged victorious in the match beating Bangladesh. Interestingly, the UAE emerged as a consensus ‘neutral’ venue where arch-rivals India and Pakistan can play each other.
Dubai International Cricket Stadium tickets price in most of the tournaments have on the lower side, hence large crowds are drawn.
Non-cricketing Events at the Stadium
Dubai has plenty of other sports and entertainment events all-year-round, and some are also held at the stadium.
For example, in 2018, the crowd witnessed some thrilling MMA action here. Similarly, Holi fest was celebrated with fervour the same year in the stadium. The Asianet Award Show was also held at the stadium and saw an appearance from a star-studded lineup of actors from the South Indian state of Kerala.
To book the stadium for any events, you can call +92-4-425-1111.
This concludes our review of the Dubai International Stadium. To be able to watch international performers compete in the heat of the battle is a novel experience. Currently, the Dubai Cricket Stadium capacity is 25,000. In future, we might see an expansion.
Those renting a villa or apartment in Dubai Sports City can witness spectacular sporting action at the sporting venues and academies in DSC. Besides the cricket stadium, the community is home to The Els Club – an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Ernie Els, the Spanish Soccer School and the ICC Cricket Academy.
There are some excellent facilities to play sports in Dubai Sports City. The Spanish Soccer School and Sports Park, DSC have football, rugby, athletic training facilities.
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