SA venues fight for hosting Test matches

Published: Monday, May 28, 2001, 20:30 [IST]
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Johannesburg: Provincial cricket authorities in South Africa are squabbling over rights to host Test matches when India and Australia tour the country in 2002 summer. This is causing a bit of a headache for the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA). Both Centurion (near Pretoria) and Cape Town have demanded that they should be allowed to host two Tests each out of the six-match series. The administrators of these two grounds say this should be allowed on the basis of having had the best attendances in the past. But the cricket administrators of Free State, Eastern, and Gauteng provinces are believed to be strongly opposed to this, as they may all lose a game if the others get two each. The only union that has no objection is Kwazulu-Natal. Cricket fans there have already threatened to boycott the game between South Africa and India at the Kingsmead Stadium in Durban. They have alleged that 2003 World Cup head Ali Bacher has reneged on an earlier promise that at least one of the World Cup games, to be hosted by South Africa, would be played at the mainly Indian area of Chatsworth. But Bacher said the stadium is not up to world-class standards. The provincial cricket unions, opposing the Centurion and Cape Town demand, have been allowed a week to lodge complaints with the UCBSA, after which CEO Gerald Majola and playing affairs director Brian Basson will take a decision.

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