The Sharjah Cricket Ground will equal the Sydney Cricket Ground for having hosted the most international cricket matches on Friday with Pakistan facing Hong Kong in an Asia Cup 2022 match.
Here is a look at the cricket stadiums to host the most international matches:
281 - Sharjah Cricket Stadium (UAE): An ODI paradise right from the 1980s to early 2000, the Sharjah Cricket Stadium has stood witness to several epochal moments in cricket history. The stadium in the United Arab Emirates has hosted 244 ODIs, nine Tests and 28* T20Is (281* international matches overall). Test cricket entered late, in 2002, but the one-dayers would lit up the ground. The first match hosted by the ground was the inaugural match of the first Asia Cup in 1984 between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Sachin Tendulkar’s famous ‘Desert Storm’ knock against Australia in 1998, the famous Miandad last-ball six against India in the 1986 Austral-Asia cup final and the 1985 India vs Pakistan Rothmans Cup match were a few iconic matches that happened here. Tendulkar holds the record for most ODI hundreds (7) at this venue alongside Pakistan’s Saeed Anwar.
280 - Sydney Cricket Ground (Australia): Sydney has hosted 280 international matches; 110 Tests, 159 ODIs and 11 T20Is. The first Test match at the SCG was held in 1882. Billy Murdoch’s Australia beat England by five wickets. In 1979, the first ODI at this venue, involving England again, had ended in no result. The SCG will next play host as a major venue during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022.
279 - Melbourne Cricket Ground (Australia): The colossal ‘MCG’ stadium in Australia has hosted 279 international matches till now; 114 Tests, 149 ODIs and 15 T20Is. The first Test match at the MCG was in 1877. Dave Gregory’s Australia beat England by 45 runs. In 1971, the stadium had its first taste of limited-overs cricket. Even this time, the Englishmen were at the receiving end. Under the leadership of Bill Lawry, Australia beat England by five wickets. In 2015, Australia beat New Zealand at this ground to lift the Men’s ODI World Cup for the fifth time. In 2020, the Australian women’s team beat India in the final to win the 2020 Women’s T20 World Cup.
237 - Harare Sports Club (Zimbabwe): Zimbabwe may not presently be a successful cricket team but HSC remains a busy park for the sport. The first Test match, between Zimbabwe and India in 1992, was a drawn affair. Sanjay Manjrekar and Dave Houghton had scored hundreds. The only ODI of the same tour, also the first one here, was won by India. Harare has hosted 237 international matches: 163 ODIs, 39 Tests and 35 T20Is.
221 - Lord’s Cricket Ground (London): In the fourth position with 221 international matches — 143 Tests, 68 ODIs and 10 T20Is — Lord’s is mostly known for Test cricket. Lord Harris’ England beat Australia by an innings and five runs in the first-ever Test match in 1884. The first ODI, in 1972, was won by Australia. Eleven years later, India won its maiden ODI World Cup here under the leadership of Kapil Dev.
Former captain Sourav Ganguly also has a history with the ground. He scored a hundred on his Test debut in 1996 and six years later, took his shirt off at the royal balcony to celebrate India’s win in the Natwest series. In 2019, England lifted its maiden ODI World Cup at the ‘Home of Cricket.’