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Does anyone remember the 1000th Test?

As England and India battle for supremacy on cricket's most hallowed ground at Lord's in the 2000th Test, Pakistan's Niaz stadium, which hosted the historic 1000th Test in November 1984, has only faded memories to cherish.

cricket Updated: Jul 22, 2011 09:52 IST
England

As England and India battle for supremacy on cricket's most hallowed ground at Lord's in the 2000th Test starting Thursday, Pakistan's Niaz stadium has only faded memories to cherish.

It may have hosted the historic 1000th Test in November 1984, but since then the ground has been largely deserted, symbolic of the decay eating away at international cricket in the nuclear-armed South Asian nation of 167 million.

Test matches are long gone from the Hyderabad venue and the last one-day international was against Zimbabwe in 2008. Before that, it was against India in 1997.

Now the turf has been spoilt by wedding parties and its use as a helipad making it suitable only for local matches to be played.

"It's disappointing to see the condition of Niaz stadium," said former spinner Iqbal Qasim, a member of the Pakistan team who played in the landmark 1000th Test against New Zealand at the stadium.

Built in early 1970s, it was considered a lucky ground. Pakistan lost none of the five Tests and seven ODIs held there and it was the scene of a then world-record equalling partnership of 451 between Javed Miandad and Mudassar Nazar, against India in January 1983.

A year earlier, the first-ever ODI hat-trick was taken here by Jalal-ud-din against Australia.