Johannesburg: South Africa's gold industry has just added more glitter to the World Cup tournament. In a striking show of generosity, the country's main gold producing companies have donated 54 one-ounce 24-carat gold coins for toss at each of the matches at the mega event starting on Sunday. In addition, they have also sponsored 54 solid gold watches for the man-of-the-match award and a 1.5kg 24-carat gold trophy for the man-of-the-series.
The total cost of the donations is estimated to be worth about Rs 57 lakh. Each watch is believed to cost about Rs 57,000. The coins, watches and the man-of-the- series trophy were unveiled on Wednesday in the presence of Australia, New Zealand and Pakistan teams who were impressed by the awards. Australian captain Ricky Ponting said the watches were truly magnificent. "I wouldn't mind if our team collected some of them," he said.
Bernard Swanepoel, chairman of the Chamber of Mines Gold Producers' Committee, said the industry hoped that the watches and trophy will encourage players to excel in the games, according to reports in local media. The man-of-the-series trophy has been manufactured and designed locally by David Bolam, an internationally renowned Johannesburg goldsmith who shaped it from a design created by Gold Mametja, a young South African jewel designer.