ICL: Indian Cricket League

Cricket South Africa admit to scheduling blunder


Cricket South Africa’s chief executive Gerald Majola has admitted that the board made a mistake in allotting the Boxing Day Test against West Indies to Port Elizabeth instead of the traditional Kingsmead in Durban, owing to the poor spectator turnout. The board’s decision to switch venues, in a bid to boost crowd numbers, backfired and Majola said the scheduling will be reviewed for the forthcoming seasons.

“It was definitely a wrong move,” Majola told the South African-based Daily News. “We blundered badly. We wanted to try something new this season by moving the Test matches around. However it did not work as there were hardly any spectators at the Port Elizabeth Test.”

The match was attended by roughly 11,000 in total over four days. The first day saw a crowd of around 4000 but the number dipped over the next three and an average of 2500 showed up. The deciding Test in Durban was an improvement with an aggregate of 19,000 over three days, with the home side achieving a series victory after losing the first Test.

Matches in Port Elizabeth are traditionally held in mid-January and the board took a gamble to see if the response would be better during the holiday season. He admitted that the board overlooked the fact that Kingsmead would draw better crowds as people flocked to the popular beach destination.

“We felt that if the crowd support in mid-January was good then it would be better if we had a Boxing Day Test in that city,” he said. “However people living at the coast love the beaches during the Christmas and Boxing Day period, hence we did not attract the crowd for the West Indies Test. We will have to go back to the drawing board.”

South Africa head to Australia later this year so their next home Boxing Day Test will be in the 2009-10 season against England.

Source:Cricket News

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