Butt happy with new-look Sharjah Cricket Stadium

The seating capacity of the Sharjah Cricket Stadium may be reduced to about 16,000 Getty Images

By CricketCountry Staff

Sharjah: Sep 10, 2011

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt has approved the refurbishment that is under way at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, as the venue is all set to return to hosting international cricket after more than eight years.

Pakistan are set to host Sri Lanka for a full series in October-November, 2011.

“I was mainly interested in seeing the conditions at the stadium in Sharjah and it is looking in excellent shape,” Butt was quoted by The National.

Sharjah is set to host the third Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka from November 3, and the fourth One-Day International on November 20.

The refurbishment efforts are concentrated on making the Sharjah Cricket Stadium as good as the other two newer venues in the country in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

It is likely that the stadium will host more matches in the future as Pakistan cannot host matches in their country.

Waleed Bukhatir, the vice chairman of the Cricketers’ Benefit Fund Series, which arranges matches at the venue, said, “It’s shaping up like never before. We’re gearing up well for the coming season. We want the stadium to be a state-of-the-art modern stadium. We’re putting new seating in place and are confident that the venue will be ready when the season begins.”

However, the seating capacity of the stadium may be slightly reduced to about 16,000.

“We had to consider the new rules and regulations of the ICC regarding international venues so there were changes we had to make. We’re hoping that the ground will be much, much more of an experience than before,” Bukhatir added.