West­ern Cape dou­bles up as venues are picked for league

Cape Argus - - SPORT - ZAAHIER ADAMS zaahier.adams@inl.co.za

“WE ARE READY!” That is the mes­sage from Boland Cricket chief ex­ec­u­tive James For­tuin.

Boland Cricket were the big­gest win­ners when Cricket South Africa (CSA) an­nounced the six se­lected venues that will host the six T20 League teams when South African cricket’s new com­pe­ti­tion gets un­der­way next month. Fol­low­ing the suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion of an in­de­pen­dent as­sess­ment process, the five re­main­ing venues along with Boland Park were the Wan­der­ers, SuperSport Park, Kingsmead, St George’s Park and New­lands.

The al­lo­ca­tion of two teams to the West­ern Cape meant there was no space for Bloem­fontein’s Man­gaung Oval or Kimberley’s Di­a­mond Oval, leav­ing the cen­tral part of the coun­try with no action.

Both venues hosted ODIs in­volv­ing the Proteas and Zim­babwe re­cently and re­ceived un­favourable pitch re­ports. CSA CEO Tha­bang Moroe, though, stressed that the elected sta­di­ums were cho­sen on the “pri­mary goal of lur­ing new and tra­di­tional fans, other sports fans and the wider gen­eral pub­lic to our sta­dia” and also that “the buzz phrase for the in­de­pen­dent as­sess­ment was the ‘Fan Jour­ney’”.

“We are de­lighted that CSA have shown con­fi­dence in our abil­i­ties. And we know the fans of Paarl will not dis­ap­point,” For­tuin told In­de­pen­dent Me­dia.

For­tuin also com­mented that Boland Park was “fully com­pli­ant with the sta­dia act”, and this was ev­i­dent in last week’s third and fi­nal ODI played un­der the new flood­lights at the venue.

This was cru­cial in the over­all out­come with Moroe in­di­cat­ing that CSA had em­barked on a “na­tional sta­dium grad­ing process of all our first-class venues” a lit­tle while back.

With Moroe in­di­cat­ing in an in­ter­view dur­ing the first T20 in East Lon­don on Tues­day that the chief ex­ec­u­tives of the re­spec­tive unions will ap­point the man­age­ment of their teams, it will be in­ter­est­ing to see who Boland elect.

It is ex­pected that cur­rent Co­bras coach Ash­well Prince will over­see the New­lands-based fran­chise, but For­tuin was tight-lipped on the Boland ap­point­ment.

The com­pe­ti­tion is sched­uled to get un­der­way mid-Novem­ber.

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Em­brose Papier, seen here at prac­tice with the Boks ear­lier this year and if he comes of the bench to­mor­row, will make his Cur­rie Cup de­but for the Blue Bulls against the West­ern Prov­ince at Lof­tus.

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