HYDERABAD (AFP) - 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. Aside from Afghanistan, Pakistan has not hosted an international side since gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan team in 2009, but the Niaz stadium hit trouble long before, dragged down by apathetic authorities and poor facilities nearby. "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. "With no international cricket in Pakistan and facilities unused, it had to happen." Built in early 1970s, it is the only international sporting venue in Hyderabad, Pakistan's fourth-largest city with nearly three million residents, and once lured passionate crowds of cricket-mad locals. It was also considered a lucky ground. Pakistan lost none of the five Tests and seven one-day games 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, fans witnessed the first-ever one-day hat-trick when paceman Jalal-ud-din dismissed three Australian batsman off successive deliveries. "It's cruel that a historic venue like Niaz stadium has been left unattended," said local club cricketer Abdul Hayee, who often plays domestic matches at the stadium. "We only remember Niaz because it staged the 1000th Test. I fear more and more grounds will suffer if international cricket is not revived." Far removed from the majesty of Lord's, few players even realised they had been part of history. "There's no comparison between Lord's and Hyderabad, even the players didn't know about the occasion and it is only now we know that oh, we were part of the 1000th Test," said Qasim who took five wickets in Pakistan's seven-wicket win over New Zealand. That test is also remembered for a century in each innings by legendary Pakistani batsman Miandad, now a director general of Pakistan Cricket Board. India's batting maestro Sachin Tedulkar is also hoping the Lord's cricketing milestone will provide the backdrop for his 100th international century. He has 51 Test and 48 one-day hundreds in a glorious 22-year career. Qasim hopes Tendulkar achieves his goal. "Like Miandad, Sachin is also a great batsman and I hope he gets to that unique landmark as he is admired throughout the world," said Qasim. "While the world celebrates this historic occasion, I would appeal for it to please make concrete efforts to revive cricket in Pakistan and give our grounds more moments to cherish."