Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 February 2020

Sharjah stadium witnesses its first ODI washout as UAE and Scotland share points

World Cup League Two match called off due to waterlogged outfield following heavy rainfall

Sharjah Cricket Stadium is proud of the fact it holds the Guinness world record for the most one-day internationals staged by any ground in the world.

The UAE’s oldest cricket venue had a new slice of history to note on Wednesday. For the first time ever, it saw an ODI washed out.

UAE and Scotland had been due to play the third match of their World Cup League Two tri-series, which also involves United States, at the ground.

However, the heavy rainfall which hit the Emirates on Wednesday morning, and caused havoc on the surrounding roads, left much of the outfield under water.

Although the sun was shining brightly from 10.30am onwards, and the groundstaff worked hard to get the game on, the match was officially called off at 1.45pm.

Of the 240 ODIs staged at this ground to date, none has ended in a no-result.

More time has been lost to sandstorms than rain at this ground since it first started hosting official limited-overs internationals back in 1984.

As such, the groundstaff might be forgiven for not having a huge amount of hi-tech drying machinery at their disposal.

For example, where grounds in the UK have large motorised “super soppers” to help dry their field after rain, the staff in Sharjah were left to man one manual sponge-roller.

Their efforts made little impact on the worst affected area of the ground – a huge area of standing water on the southern side of the ground, in front of the team dressing rooms. That area of the ground was not exposed to the sun, given it is in the shade of the main grandstand.

At 12.30pm, the head groundsman dug a small hole in the middle of the biggest puddle.

An electric pump, which has been scarcely used in the best part of 20 years since it was bought, was then sunk in the hole.

Water was pumped from the field, through the old dressing rooms area in the bowels of the main stand, and discharged into the car park at the back of the stand.

Although it made a substantial difference, the officials deemed there would be no chance that the affected area would be fit for play before the 2.45pm cut-off time.

UAE and Scotland took a point apiece because of the abandonment.

It puts Scotland into second place in the table, in the new competition which is part of the qualifying process for the 2023 World Cup in India. The United States, who have won five of the six matches they have played, are top.

They face the UAE at the ICC Academy in Dubai on Thursday.

Updated: December 11, 2019 03:25 PM

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