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Sabina Park Cricket Stadium

The Sabina Park is a cricket ground in the suburbs of Kingston, the capital of Jamaica. It has a capacity of 20,000 and the Blue Mountains form a backdrop to the north, facing the George Headley stand, making it one of the most picturesque stadiums.


The eastern stand of the cricket ground is curiously named “Party” stand and is often filled with boisterous and vocal fans, who seem to be in a festive mood with barbeques, music and local beer.


The Sabina Park has the notorious reputation of having one of the fastest and hardest pitches in the cricket world because of the city’s extremely dry microclimate, leading it to become a fearsome place to bat on against the West Indies fast bowlers.


However, the pitch has slowed down in recent times, and relaying the pitch has proved fruitless.


Sabina Park


History


The date of its establishment is not clear, but it was the headquarters of the Kingston Cricket Club which was formed in 1863. The maiden first class game in the ground was played in 1895.


The first Test match was played here in 1930 in West Indies’ first home series against the Marylebone Cricket Club team.


Major Matches


It was the venue of the match between England and West Indies, in which Andy Sandham became the first player ever to score a triple century in Test cricket.


It also hosted the match in which Sir Garry Sobers scored 365 runs against Pakistan in 1958 – an all-time record then.


Courtney Walsh got his 435th wicket here on 27th March, 2000 to match Kapil Dev’s world record in his 114th test match.


Controversy


Sabrina Park was the venue for the abandoned Test match in 1998 involving the touring England team. The match was abandoned after just an hour of play on the opening day because the pitch was deemed unfit to play upon.


The pitch was said to be so appalling that it could have endangered the players. It was the first time in Test cricket’s history that a match had to be abandoned.


Recent Matches


It hosted the 2017 India’s Tour of West Indies in July. The very last match of the ODI series was played at the Sabina Park. The West Indies put up a modest 205, as Indian pacers Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami excelled. The victory was round up by a fantastic 111 not out, by captain Virat Kohli.


The only T20I of the series was also played here as the Indians went out to bat first and put up a decent 190. But they were blown away by a Evin Lewis hurricane as he scored a stunning 125 not out from 62 balls.


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