South Africa v Australia, 1st Test, Cape Town, 3rd day November 11, 2011

A weekend without cricket for Cape Town

The city which is South Africa's restaurant and bar capital will have do without Test cricket on Saturday and Sunday after a seven-session Test at Newlands

Of all South Africa's cities, Cape Town is the pick among for them for weekend getaways. Saturdays and Sundays mark the end of the working week and a time to relax or party in the restaurant and bar capital of the country. In summer, they are also days for cricket watching, but, this weekend, Newlands Cricket Ground will be still instead of surging, after South Africa wrapped up victory over Australia in little over two days.

While the locals will celebrate the victory, the stadium's food and drink vendors will be disappointed. Organisers may rue starting the match on a Wednesday, denying them the opportunity to fill the 25,000 seater, which did not reach capacity during the week. Neither Saturday nor Sunday was a sell-out yet, but there were "a lot more tickets sold than for the working day," Andre Odendaal, chief executive of Western Cape Cricket, told ESPNcricinfo.

A week before the match 12,500 tickets had been told for Saturday and 8,000 for Sunday. Tickets will not be refunded, in accordance with the policy of sale, but any weekend ticket holders were allowed in for Friday's two hours of play. They can also be used next Friday, for the franchise one-day cup match between the Cape Cobras and the Titans.

Newlands painted a lively picture on Friday, with the grass embankment full, the stands pleasantly occupied and mini-cricket coaching clinics taking place on the field after play but it will be a lonely shell for the next two days, when it would have been at its busiest. Odendaal said that vendors would probably not have insurance for the loss of income they would encounter over the next two days, but that they are probably not too hard done by, because Newlands will hosts two Tests this summer.

Their next international is the traditional New Year's Test, which will be against Sri Lanka. The other Test grounds, Wanderers in Johannesburg, SuperSport Park in Centurion and Kingsmead in Durban, will host only one Test. "We don't do too badly this time around," Odendaal said. "Even though the weekends are always the highlight, seeing Australia 21 for 9, may be worth not having any cricket this weekend."

Given the bizarre fashion in which the game played out, with all four innings featuring on the second day and two of them lasting only 42.3 overs, Odendaal was not too disappointed with the outcome despite what it will mean for the bank balance. "We need all the income we can get because we have such a few days of international cricket a year," Odendaal said. "But we have to balance that against the unusual nature of this game and how it has added to the legacy of Newlands."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on November 12, 2011, 12:01 GMT

    Tickets are probably too expensive. To afford a ticket you need a job, if you have a job you can't come to the game. They should have serious student discounts or even free tickets - they'll make it up in beer profits.

  • Dummy4 on November 12, 2011, 4:05 GMT

    It was good wicket if you buckle down and play in which none of the Aussies did Ponting and clarke playing across line which is not good way of batting

  • Andrea Francesco on November 11, 2011, 22:21 GMT

    @ Dravid, there was nothing wrong with the pitch, it was bad batting, as Clark proved on day one, that you just had to play a certain way, as Smith and Amla proved on day two in the afternoon, just had to bat with more care. I think that it modern day cricket we have too many flat pitches, nothing like the pitches of 30 or 40 years ago when a batsman made a century it was a hard fought one, not saying that today they don't have to fight but it is nothing compared to the pitches of yesteryear. If we look at all the pitches around the world, it is the sub continent that produce the least amount of results. Cricket should be a test, not flat and predictable.

  • Sai on November 11, 2011, 20:28 GMT

    Tickets should have been refunded, in the sub-continent, especially in India and Sri Lanka, tickets are cheap and refunded if the match is not played that day. This way, people can still come to the stadium thinking that anyhow they will either get their money back or they will enjoy the match. It gives a lot of satisfaction as well. I don't see why CSA don't refund tickets in SA, it just ruins the game overall.

  • Srinivas on November 11, 2011, 17:12 GMT

    I'm sure if it was India who crumbled like this in their batting, the daggers would have been out on BCCI, Indian 'flat' pitches that don't aid fast bowling and, of course, IPL. Also, if this kind of a collapse happened on spin friendly tracks of India the daggers would have been out to declare it unfit and underprepared pitch when grazing field pitches in SA and England easily pass up as spicy, juicy, sporting and some such hilarious stuff. I say it again, the pitches in England, SA and Australia have to be closely scrutinised and sanctions should be in place against such horrible monotonous grazing field pitches.

  • Dummy4 on November 11, 2011, 16:48 GMT

    What, so Newlands have to somehow factor in gutless batting into their financial equations?

    Get out of here. What should they do - prepare a highway instead of what was an excellent test track?

    Don't equate the technical shortcomings of a whole generation of batsmen with the financial considerations of a City Treasury. May there be more fantastic test wickets like this one (p.s., it was actually quite good to bat on).

  • rahul on November 11, 2011, 16:13 GMT


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