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Johannesburg to host 2003 WC final

Published: Monday, October 23, 2000, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Durban: The final of the 2003 World Cup in South Africa has been provisionally scheduled for Johannesburg on March 18, the United Cricket Board (UCB) said on Monday.''It was a unanimous decision by the 2003 World Cup policy committee that the Wanderers host the final, as it is one of the premier grounds in world cricket,'' UCBSA managing director Dr Ali Bacher said.Bacher said the semi-finals would be played in Durban and Port Elizabeth. The opening match of the tournament would involve South Africa and was scheduled for Cape Town on February 7.''The semi-final in Port Elizabeth will definitely be a day game because the lights are not good enough to host international day-night cricket,'' Dr Bacher said. ''In Durban the likelihood is that it will be a day game. The final will be a day game because of the dew factor in Gauteng in March.'' Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth would also each host one of the nine Super Six, or second round, matches as well as three pool games. Two Super Six matches each would go to Centurion and Bloemfontein, with East London hosting the other.Bacher said five or six pool matches would be played in Zimbabwe, depending on whether South Africa were drawn in the same pool as their northern neighbours. If they were in the same pool, the match would take place in South Africa.So far, 36 or 37 of the total of 54 matches had been allocated, leaving 16 or 17 still up for grabs. Bacher said Potchefstroom, Kimberley and Pietermaritzburg had been guaranteed some of those games.However, so far no matches had been allocated to traditionally black residential areas. ''It hasn't been ruled out, and we still hope to be able tostage World Cup matches in black areas,'' he said. ''The question is who will finance the upgrading of those facilities. We've asked the local councils to assist us in that regard and at this point it doesn't look positive.'' He said Australia has asked to be based in Potchefstroom, a request that had been granted. None of the other 13 teams had been allocated bases, Bacher said.The tournament would be spread over 40 days with 42 of the pool matches played on consecutive days. On 20 days, two matches would be played simultaneously. (c) Reuters Limited. Click here for Restrictions


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