More umpires than spectators… Australia takes on Pakistan in cricket Test match – but NO ONE turns up to the 25,000 capacity Dubai stadium
Posted on October 8th, 2018

By BROOKE ROLFE FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA Courtesy Mail on Line

  • There were Barren scenes at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday
  • It was Australia’s first game back after the ball tampering scandal in March 
  • A sole security guard stood watch on the stands despite them being empty 
  • The Australian cricket team received a frosty reception in Dubai for its first Test series back since its ball tampering scandal in South Africa in March.

    There were barren scenes in the stands at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday, and organisers mistakenly erected New Zealand flags instead of Australian.

    Despite there being thousands of empty seats, a sole security guard could be seen standing watch as he faced away from the game towards the grand stand.

    The Australian cricket team received a frosty reception in Dubai (pictured on Sunday) for its first Test series back since its ball tampering scandal in South Africa in March

    The Australian cricket team received a frosty reception in Dubai (pictured on Sunday) for its first Test series back since its ball tampering scandal in South Africa in March

    There were barren scenes in the stands at Dubai International Cricket Stadium and organisers mistakenly erected New Zealand flags instead of Australian (players on Sunday)

    There were barren scenes in the stands at Dubai International Cricket Stadium and organisers mistakenly erected New Zealand flags instead of Australian (players on Sunday)

    Despite there being thousands of empty seats, a sole security guard could be seen standing watch as he faced away from the game towards the grand stand

    Despite there being thousands of empty seats, a sole security guard could be seen standing watch as he faced away from the game towards the grand stand

    Australia’s bowling attack was yet to make an impact in Pakistan’s top order, with opening batsmen Mohammad Hafeez and Imam-ul-Haq still standing at the crease after 54 overs.

  • Australia named three debutants with batsmen Aaron Finch, Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne coming into the team for the visitors’ first test since the ball-tampering incident.

    The scandal at Newlands, South Africa, subsequently saw captain Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft receive lengthy bans for their part in trying to change the condition of the ball with a piece of sandpaper.

    The tests were the first of the two-match series, with three T20s due to follow (players pictured on Sunday)

    The tests were the first of the two-match series, with three T20s due to follow (players pictured on Sunday)

    Thousands of seats were completely empty as the captains (pictured) took to the centre of the pitch for the coin toss

    Thousands of seats were completely empty as the captains (pictured) took to the centre of the pitch for the coin toss

    The absence of Smith and Warner was certain to be a significant factor with three debutants among the visitors’ top six for the first Test in Dubai.

    Australia has lost four of its last five test series in Asia, including a 2-0 series defeat on its last tour of the UAE to play Pakistan in 2014.

    Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and elected to bat first, before the hosts handed a debut to offspinner Bilal Asif, with 26-test seamer Wahab Riaz selected ahead of Mir Hamza.

    Not one person, other than media, showed up to watch three Australians receive their baggy greens (ceremony pictured)

    Not one person, other than media, showed up to watch three Australians receive their baggy greens (ceremony pictured)

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