The Cricketers Benefit Fund Series (CBFS) was set up in 1981 originally to honour cricketers of the past and present generation from India and Pakistan with benefit purses in recognition of their significant contribution to the game. Since then, the benefit funds have been extended to players from Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and the West Indies.
However, CFBS's sensational contribution to the promotion of cricket lay in creatinga full-fledged cricket ground with a 27,000-seat stadium and an adjoining sports club, on the desert sands of Sharjah. This involved importing a huge load of topsoil from the subcontinent and setting up a foolproof watering system to keep the grass alive, healthy and green. Indeed, each and every day, the grounds have to be watered thrice, including once at midnight.
To date, 197 one-day International (ODI) matches have been played at this ground. Sharjah even holds the unusual record of being the only non-Test playing country that has hosted a Test match! The Emirates Cricket Board, inspired by the Bukhatir Group chairman, Abdulrahman Bukhatir, is now an associate member of the International Cricket Council.