Glory days beckon Sharjah: Waleed

Glory days beckon Sharjah: Waleed

Cricket makes a comeback in Sharjah as the venue hosts the fourth one-day international between Pakistan and Sri Lanka on Sunday.

By Liaqat Ali

Published: Sun 20 Nov 2011, 12:31 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 7:33 AM

Sharjah has already made history by entering the Guinness Book of World Record for hosting the most number of one-day internationals.

Abdul Rehamn Bukhatir put Sharjah on the map of world cricket and now Waleed Bukhatir is extending the legacy by starting the second innings.

Waleed, who played cricket as well, is keen to bring back the glory days of Sharjah by taking personal interest in stadium renovation and developmental work.

He was inspecting the final arrangements on Saturday and talked about Sharjah and sports in the UAE in a interview to Khaleej Times.

Waleed said: “November 20, 2011 is a very special day for Sharjah Cricket Stadium when the stadiums hosts the 201st ODI — a keen contest between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

“It gives another chance to the cricket-hungry spectators of the UAE to come and enjoy the beautiful game.

“We are looking forward to a packed house on Sunday and we want people to enjoy every moment of the game on this historic ground.”

Sharjah went dormant for some time but the stadium is back with a bang. Sharjah is known for crowds and a large number of spectators turned out to watch Test match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Keeping in mind that there was no free entry like Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the turn out in Sharjah was heartening to see.

“People still talk about Sharjah which forced us to start the game again. Now they have the opportunity to come and enjoy the international cricket at their favourite venue.

“The experience of watching the game at ground is different from sitting at home and being glued to the TV.

“I really congratulate everyone who is involved in this project and my special thanks to Khaleej Times who has been very cooperative to revive the cricket in Sharjah.”

The UAE’s progress in last 40 years is phenomenal. The country has really emerged the torch-bearer in many ways. It has set new standards in all the walks of life. Despite the recession, the country is still following an upward trend.

Waleed added: “The UAE has taken gigantic steps in sports infrastructure. The country is attracting world’s best names in football including Diego Maradona and Fabio Cannavaro.

“Many of world’s top sports events are being held in the country.

“I would like to congratulate His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah and all Members of the Supreme Council and the people of my beloved country on the 40th National Day.

“In this short span of time the UAE has made a tremendous progress and is one of top countries in the region.

“UAE has come out fighting in this time of recession and our aviation, education and many other sectors are still booming.

“Under the guidance of able leaders the UAE has a very bright future ahead.”

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