No cricket in soccer World Cup stadiums
South Africa's hopes of making their World Cup soccer stadiums financially viable have been dealt a blow after the cricket board told parliament that most of the grounds were too small to host matches.cricket Updated: Aug 19, 2010 00:07 IST
South Africa's hopes of making their World Cup soccer stadiums financially viable have been dealt a blow after the cricket board told parliament that most of the grounds were too small to host matches.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Gerald Majola told the portfolio committee on sport that his organisation had hoped to utilise some of the stadiums to spread their game to areas of the country that did not usually enjoy top-flight cricket.
"Historically, our game had not been played in some of areas where some of stadiums were built," Majola told reporters on Wednesday, referring specifically to the arenas in Polokwane, Rustenburg and Nelspruit.
"We saw an opportunity, but unfortunately we were not part of the designs of the stadiums," he added.
South Africa underwent a massive building programme in an effort to make the country ready to host the month-long soccer extravaganza with the construction of five new stadiums, while a further five underwent varying degrees of renovation.
However, Majola said that a lack of consultation with CSA meant that only the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban was currently capable of hosting cricket.
"We are compelled by the size of fields. When these fields were built, we were not part of that," he explained.
South Africa is set to play a Twenty20 international against India at the Durban venue next January.
CSA had to ask the ICC for special dispensation to hold the match as the ground was currently 22 metres too short square of the wicket.
Majola added that if plans to incorporate an athletics track at the stadium went ahead, then the ground would conform to ICC size regulations.