|Newlands Cricket Stadium | Cape Town|
CAPE TOWN. – Frenetic ticket purchases for the One Day International and T20 International against England at PPC Newlands have entered a new phase as ticket sales for the temporary stands in both games will open on Monday 1st February from 09:00 to 16:00 from the PPC Newlands Ticket Office only.
South Africa recently stunned the number-two ranked One Day International (ODI)-team in the world, India, in their own backyard and beat them 3-2 to underline their status as a global superpower in the 50-over game.
The Proteas also whitewashed India on Indian soil in the T20-format, an emphatic 2-0 which was set up partially by the brilliance of the Cape Cobras- and South African star, JP Duminy. He hammered an unbeaten 68 in the first match.
“We are expecting a capacity crowd for both the ODI at PPC Newlands on Sunday 14th February and the T20-International at the same venue on Friday 19th February,” said Nabeal Dien, chief executive officer of the Western Province Cricket Association.
“Within six weeks, the Proteas will embark on the ICC Twenty20 World Cup-mission in India, and the matches will offer fans the opportunity to watch some of the most brilliant boundary-bashers in the world closely in an atmosphere which is unlikely to be experienced anywhere else in South Africa,” added Dien.
Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Duminy, David Miller, Ben Stokes and Joe Root will provide supporters with a taste of high-octane batting which is likely to ignite PPC Newlands. We hope fans will respond early to ensure they are part of what promises to be exhilarating ODI- and T20-series,” Dien said.
Tickets can be purchased at a special price of R200 per person on the temporary stand. Normal price being R250. Tickets are obtainable from PPC Newlands on a first come first serve basis.
More than 85 000 spectators were part of the run festival in the traditional New Year’s test between South Africa and England recently, which was an all-time record attendance for the iconic venue.
CAPE TOWN. – A record-number of 85 235 spectators at PPC Newlands were first-hand witnesses of Hashim Amla’s double century and the whirlwind 399 runs smashed for the sixth wicket by Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow in the second test between South Africa and England.
“We lured about 1500 spectators more than the attendants we hosted in the test in 2004/2005 when South Africa and England were also at loggerheads,” said Nabeal Dien, chief executive officer of the Western Province Cricket Association.
“If the elements did not intervene with England in some trouble on 159 for six, fans would have rushed to Newlands in great numbers on the final day on Thursday,” he added.
“We also sold more than R2 million in alcoholic beverages (suites excluded) during the course of the test which was contested in quite soaring heat at this iconic venue.
“The support and the festive sprit of the crowd was notable. On the first day, 20 195 spectators turned up, while 20 600 watched Stokes and Bairstow unleash on day two.
“We had 17 558 fans who moved through the turnstiles on the third day, 16 216 on the penultimate day and 10 660 witnessed the dramatic events unfolding on the last day,” Dien said.
“PPC Newlands will host another 17 international cricket matches over the next four years and judging from the response of the crowd who have commented on social media, and the feedback from our advertisers, we are confident in the excellence of our delivery.
“Tickets for the One Day International at PPC Newlands on 14th February against England and the T20-match against the same foes on 19th February are selling fast and we expect bumper crowds for both contests,” Dien said.
“The T20-match against Australia at Newlands on 9th March will offer fans an opportunity to give the Proteas a proper send-off when they embark on their mission to win the ICC World Twenty20 in India. We are hopeful it will be another sell-out crowd.”
Postscript: Charl Langeveldt, bowling coach of South Africa and former bowling coach of the Cape Cobras, will have fond memories of that test in 2004/2005 that drew such a vast crowd. In his test debut, at his beloved Newlands, Langeveldt captured 5-46 to set up a South African win.
CAPE TOWN. - Barry Richards, legendary South African cricketer and former member of the World Cricket Committee of the MCC, applauded the introduction of day/night-cricket as a spectacle and as a move to promote the game, and added that PPC Newlands is one of the suitable South African venues that can follow the example of the Adelaide Oval to host such a novelty in tests.
Richards also warned that the current South African test captain, Hashim Amla, might allow captaincy issues to affect his batting while he is at the crease.
He also casted his vote for Stephen Cook to open the batting in tests for South Africa with Dean Elgar instead of Stiaan van Zyl being converted from a middle-order batsman to an opener.
Richards delivered the 12th annual New Year’s address in front of a capacity audience in the President Suite at PPC Newlands after the conclusion of the third day’s play of the second test between South Africa and England at the iconic venue.
Asked to comment on Amla’s test captaincy (and whether he should continue in that role), Richards expressed sympathy for Amla’s challenges, including the fact that he lost tosses in India and that the Indian off-spinner Ravi Ashwin was the best bowler in the lop-sided series (which resulted in a 3-0 win for the hosts).
He added there were certain questions that he has no answer to as he is not an insider. “Does Hashim want the job, and does he approach mentors around him on where can he improve.”
Richards said Amla should exclude the things (about his captaincy) that are swirling around when he is batting. His own impression is that Amla worries about other things from a captaincy point of view while he is at the crease.
The legendary former South African opener said he would have pencilled in Cook instead of Van Zyl as opener for the current series against England.
He said he would have selected Van Zyl at number five. “I don’t think you can manufacture opening batsmen. And Stephen Cook has done it the past ten years. It might be only a temporary solution, because Cook is 33 or 34,” he added.
Richards also was probed about the South African approach against the whirlwind duo of Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow, who added 399 for the sixth wicket against the Proteas and slammed 196 runs in a session on Sunday in the second test at PPC Newlands.
He said he counted only three Yorkers being bowled in two days to the England batsmen. He also thought the South African bowlers could have used the change of pace more to force false strokes.
On the subject of day/night cricket the former South African batting maestro said this could not be implemented universally and cannot be pursued in venues with a rough outfield.
In certain venues, where there is no dew, like the Adelaide Oval, this innovation could add value to the game.
An amount of 560 million Australian dollars was invested at the Adelaide Oval, he said.
The pink ball is still in a research and developmental phase, he said.
Richards remarked that the International Cricket Council might have missed a trick at the advent of T20-cricket ten years ago by not using a franchise concept by utilizing three cities in countries in different parts of the world to play the game.
It could have aided the globalization of the game enormously.
Miami, Boston and New York could have been the United States of America’s representatives, for example. You could have imported players to represent them, he added.
Richards saluted the contribution made by Basil D’ Oliveira in being a catalyst for the sport boycott against the policy of apartheid.
As a batsman, Richards said, D’ Oliveira had the shortest back=lift he had ever seen, but he could pierce the gaps in the field like few other he saw.
Richards defended the decision of so-called Rebel Tours to South Africa.
He said the players’ opposition to apartheid were encapsulated by the famous walk-off by members of South Africa’s elite players in a game at Newlands. It met with vehement opposition from the government.
The purpose of Ali Bacher’s introduction of the Rebel-tours was to secure the future of cricket in South Africa. If this had not been done, many players and fans could have been lost to the game and could have drifted to other sporting codes, he indicated.
Richards said Fred Titmus, Erapalli Prasanna, Bishen Bedi and Derek Underwood were arguably some of the best spinners he played against.
Bedi defeated numerable batsmen with his control of length and his flight.
Underwood could be unplayable on a wet surface. “He once got 7-17 against us. I knew we were in trouble when in the fifth over of the day, he hit my opening partner on the badge of his cap while he was pushing forward to meet the ball.”
Asked if an argument could be made that the Richards duo – Barry or Viv – might have been better than sir Don Bradman, Richards said he doesn’t like to compare eras simply because conditions, wickets, rules and bats have altered.
“Bradman’s statistics are enormous. He averaged 99.94 in tests – that is twice as good as anybody else.”
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