CHENNAI: With the Men in Green all set to lock horns with Afghanistan at Chennai’s Chidambaram Stadium on Monday, it’s imperative to look into the rich cricketing history of the venue along with the story behind Pakistan cricket team’s iconic mural there.
The walls of the stadium — portraying several iconic moments of the Indian cricket team — display one of the most iconic victories of the Pakistan cricket team at this venue.
The mural outside the venue depicts Pakistani players taking a victory lap after a historic win over India in a nail-biting Test match in 1999.
In that memorable Chennai Test, the game was once slipping out of the hands of Pakistan before Saqlain Mushtaq took the wicket of century-maker Sachin Tendulkar to help Pakistan win the game by 12 runs.
Chennai’s Chidambaram Stadium has always been a memorable venue for Pakistan as the national side remains undefeated here in the one-day internationals (ODIs) so far.
In 1997, Pakistan defeated India by 35 runs, the match will be remembered for the historic 194-run knock by Saeed Anwar which remained the highest individual ODI score for several years. In 2012, Pakistan again triumphed over the home side and secured a six-wicket win.
The Green Shirts have also played four Test matches at this venue winning one and drawing two of them.
The players of the national team are aware of the past records at this venue and Imam-ul-Haq is confident that the team can draw inspiration from the glory Pakistan achieved at this venue in the past and extend their winning streak in Chennai.
It is worth mentioning that Pakistan is currently having a tough time in the World Cup after suffering back-to-back defeats against India and Australia in Ahmedabad and Bengaluru, respectively.
The Men in Green also have two victories to their name but they came against relatively weak sides of the Netherlands and Sri Lanka, with the latter missing a few key players.
And now, the match against Afghanistan is a must-win for Pakistan because any outcome other than a victory would make things difficult for the Babar Azam-led side in the World Cup.