Pakistan vs Lanka – Abu Dhabi to host 5 cricket matches

By Rajive Singh

Test Match, two one-day internationals and double-header Marquee T20

ABU DHABI 10 September 2017: Abu Dhabi Cricket’s (ADC) international season at the new-look facility is to kick off with the much-anticipated opening Test match of the Pakistan v Sri Lanka series on September 28 to October 2.

Organised by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and hosted by ADC, this will be followed by four further matches, including the second and third One Day Internationals on October 16 to 18, and the first and second Twenty-20s (of a three-part series) on October 26 and 27. The final game of the ‘T20’ series is slated to return to Lahore, Pakistan.

This constitutes a big draw for Abu Dhabi Cricket, whose showpiece 18,000-capacity Zayed Cricket Stadium and surrounding cricketing facilities have recently undergone an extensive upgrade, and is now primed to play host to the international cricket community. Both the Pakistan and Sri Lankan teams will have access to its newly-constructed world-class cricket nets during the series, as well as eight immaculately renovated wickets in a brand new international section.

With the full support of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, ADC will host five of the eleven Pakistan v Sri Lanka games and is the only facility in the UAE to host any Twenty20 games in this series.

“We are thrilled the Pakistan Cricket Board has chosen Abu Dhabi to host international competition of this calibre,” says Aref Al Awani, General Secretary, Abu Dhabi Sports Council. “With our full support, Abu Dhabi Cricket is helping to revive this incredible sport to its famously fanatical audience amid world-class facilities in Abu Dhabi, while helping to nurture the next generation of UAE sportsmen and women and promote a healthier lifestyle.”

Najam Sethi, Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board commented, “We are pleased to play in Abu Dhabi and expect that this arrangement will be mutually beneficial for future tours as well.”

“This series of fixtures continues Abu Dhabi Cricket’s excellent working partnership with the Pakistan Cricket Board” says Matthew Boucher, Acting CEO, Abu Dhabi Cricket. “We are particularly pleased to be hosting all three formats of the game and to have been selected for the marquee Twenty20 ‘double-header’ on 26th and 27th October, where we expect to see a packed-out capacity crowd. Our thanks go to the Pakistan Cricket Board for their confidence in Abu Dhabi and to Abu Dhabi Sports Council for their unwavering support in executing our vision of developing and showcasing world-class cricket here in the capital.”

The wheels were set in motion last month with the launch of the new-look Zayed Cricket Academy, which, with the major upgrading of facilities at Zayed Cricket Stadium, is now the UAE’s most prestigious junior cricket coaching programme. Open to both girls and boys of all abilities from age four up to 18, it will now operate a ‘Junior Academy’ for beginners aged 11 and under, as well as an ‘Senior Academy’ for those aged 12 and over who have played cricket for three years or more.