Another feather in Dubai’s cap

DUBAI - It will be another feather in the cap of Dubai when International Cricket Stadium hosts first-ever Test in the jewel of Middle East.

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Published: Sat 13 Nov 2010, 12:11 AM

Last updated: Thu 6 Jul 2023, 1:58 PM

Dubai Sports City was planned to provide residents a place where they can enjoy sports at their doorsteps. The cricket stadium was a big success as Pakistan-South Africa one-day matches attracted big crowds. The expatriates from subcontinent follow the cricket religiously and hope DSC will host more and more matches to provide them with quality cricket.

The Test will be just a start and a lot more cricket will be played at this venue in future. The state-of-the-art stadium has lot to offer and facilities are second to none.

Rod Marsh, Director of Coaches at Global Cricket Academy while talking to Khaleej Times said: “It is a historic moment for Dubai and we are ready for a keen contest.

“South Africa is a well balanced side and number two Test team in the world. Though conditions will suit Pakistan but Proteas will be ready for a fight.”

The former Australian wicketkeeper said: “Pakistan is one of the most unpredictable side and can bring surprises.

“Younus Khan and Mohammed Yousuf are two top players. I have not seen them playing but their Test averages show they are class players.

“The wicket may not be different from the one which was used for one-dayers. We expect top performances from both the sides.”

Mudassar Nazar, head coach at GCA, said: “South Africa are favourites but you cannot write off Pakistan. After losing Twenty20 they made a great comeback in one-dayers. The credit goes to Shahid Afridi and Waqar Younus.

“There are concerns about Pakistan bowling — Danish Kaneria has been dropped and two top bowlers Mohammed Aamer and Mohammed Asif are facing suspensions.

“The wicket will spin later but in the beginning if there is a bounce, Dale Steyn can pose problems for Pakistan.

“Pakistan is facing problems as Umer Gul is coming after a lay-off and we are not sure how fit he is and he is shot of match practice.

“Mohammed Sami has joined the team but you cannot bank on him. He is very inconsistent and his wicket-taking ability has suffered.

“Keeping in mind these Pakistan limitations, Jacques Kallis could be big threat. He is an experienced campaigner and his wicket will be crucial. You need extra pace to get him out.

“He scored hundreds in each innings in Karachi last time and he is in a good nick after helping South Africa to clinch one-day series on Monday. “Hashim Amla is a big revelation for South Africa. He has improved tremendously and earned a permanent place in a team like South Africa.“I remember once Bill Lawry was given a chance when an Australian player was injured and he scored five centuries in the series. Amla has done the same thing and he can perform well here and in next World Cup.

The former Pakistan coach said: “Pakistan has been facing an opening crisis since long and number three and four batsmen will under pressure.

“Younus Khan and Mohammed Yousuf are seasoned campaigners and have the ability to play long innings. Pakistan will depend heavily on these two players.

“These are Pakistani pitches and there should not be much pressure on players. But Pakistan have not performed well at the Test level recently and it will be big test for them against a quality side.”

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