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September 17, 2014

Asia Cup 2014 : Grounds

Shere Bangla National Stadium

Mirpur, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Established in 2006 Named after AK Fazlul Haque, this ground has the Capacity of 25,000 and has Floodlights facility.

The Shere Bangla National Cricket Stadium, named after AK Fazlul Haque, one of the country's most renowned leaders and freedom fighters in the 1940s, is situated about 10 kilometres outside the centre of Dhaka. The move from the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka to Mirpur was met with much resistance, but the BCB had decided they needed a stadium dedicated exclusively to cricket, and carried on despite criticism.

The most striking feature of the ground is the drainage facility which is probably the best in the subcontinent. The ground was originally built for football and athletics and was hence rectangular in shape. To bring it back to a shape suited for cricket, a lot of demolition had to be done, and also the athletics tracks had to be dug up. About three feet of soil was excavated to remove all the red clay. PVC pipes were fit in before filling it up with rock chips and sand and then grass. The slope is nice and even, a difference of 29 inches from the wicket to the boundary.

The ground hosted its first Test when Bangladesh played India in May 2007; a timely start was made possible because of the efficient drainage after heavy overnight showers. The wicket was pretty flat and slow, but that could have more to do with the home team's mindset of not expecting to win.

The floodlights have to be changed - currently they have the ones used for football matches. Although not completely ready yet, the stadium looks impressive, and should become one of the more noted venues in the subcontinent.

The triangular spaces under the stands outside have been used for furniture shops. The grassless plot next to the ground, which plays venue to about 20 simultaneous matches with a tape-tennis ball every evening and morning, adds to the stadium's reputation of being the home of Bangladesh cricket's new home.
Sidharth Monga May 2007

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