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CSA rules out major cricket at FIFA World Cup venues

Cricinfo staff

August 18, 2010

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The Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban could host a Twenty20 match between South Africa and India in January 2011
The Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban will host a Twenty20 game between India and South Africa © AFP

The stadia used for the FIFA World Cup are too small for major international cricket matches, Cricket South Africa chief executive Gerald Majola has said. Majola told parliament that the grounds were too small for cricket, a problem that could have been avoided had the board been consulted when the stadiums were being designed.

"Historically, our game was not played in areas where some of the stadiums were built," Majola said. "We saw an opportunity, but unfortunately we were not part of the design of the stadiums. If we had met before the time and considered the issues we would have known stadiums would have been accommodating others sports as well."

The World Cup venues at Polokwane, Rustenburg and Nelspruit, Majola had hoped, could have been used to stage a Twenty20 tournament similar to the IPL. But their inappropriate size quashed the plan.

"We were hoping the stadiums were going to help us get into areas we had never been," Majola said. "We were really trying to get a tournament to be played similar to the IPL, but unfortunately due to the congestion of the future tour programme, which governs how cricket is played internationally, we could not find a gap for our own competition."

The three venues could have helped CSA "find a window", helping to squeeze in more games in the month of August where the tournament could have presumably lured several foreign players. "It would have meant we would have had an event annually in those three stadiums, which we could have hosted every year in August, maybe early September," Majola said. "Unfortunately we are compelled by the size of fields. When these fields were built, we were not part of that."

The Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, however, will be hosting a Twenty20 game during India's upcoming tour of South Africa. The ground was given clearance to stage the game - marking the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Indians in South Africa - despite being 22 metres "short on the square".

"For this particular game, because of its importance to South Africa, I had to motivate the ICC and ask for special dispensation," he said. "The biggest capacity for cricket in South Africa is at Wanderers with 35,000. At the Mabhida we will have 70 000 spectators coming... We know that the day we sell the tickets, the tickets will be sold out."

The stadium's management, he reportedly said, had indicated it was considering removing the first six rows of seats ground to accommodate an athletics track. "If that happens we will apply (to the ICC) for full status to utilise the Mabhida stadium," Majola said.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2010, 0:00 GMT)


I thought so too.. but the words were a bit misleading. Anyways, the page has been edited since to remove that.

Posted by   on (August 19, 2010, 17:12 GMT)

Football is not so top-quality in South Africa to use such stadiums for domestic leagues and all. This process had to be though earlier and made the stadiums such a way that it could be used multi-purpose/possibility to use multi-purposely. Similarly how the Olympic Stadium in Sydney hosts domestic one-dayers (and sometimes T20s)

Posted by rko_rules on (August 18, 2010, 20:47 GMT)

@shailendra rao, the measurements told are absolutely correct. You are taking it wrong, its actually 137 meters from one side of the square boundary to the another end of the square boundary that includes width of the wicket and 149 meters from one end of the straight boundary to the another end that includes the length of the wicket.

Posted by Harvey on (August 18, 2010, 18:20 GMT)

South Africa has some of the best cricket grounds in the world. What's wrong with using those?

Posted by   on (August 18, 2010, 14:14 GMT)

"The ICC stipulates that the minimum distance of the pitch from the square boundary must be 137 metres, and 149 metres from the straight boundary..." -- I'm sure this is not true... I've seen huge sixers hit by batsmen which have gone out of the stadium, and yet the distance the ball travelled was only about 110 metres or so. 137 and 149 metres to the boundary from the pitch seems incorrect...

Posted by JosRoberts on (August 18, 2010, 13:19 GMT)

Are those sizes correct? ~140 meters from pitch to boundary sounds very big - 140 meters from boundary to boundary seems more like it to me...

Posted by   on (August 18, 2010, 11:20 GMT)

I agree, in future, the stadias should be built as a multi purpose stadiums

Posted by   on (August 18, 2010, 10:50 GMT)

It is good that South Africa is holding a 20-20 game for the first time in such a big stadium and that too against India.The South Africa -India relationship dates back to the days of Gandhi and it is a proud feeling that Indians have contributed something for the struggle of self determination in South Africa.Best of luck to South African nation in all its future endeavors.

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