• MSL attendance: Newlands ftw; Kingsmead wtf

    Four matches into the inaugural Mzansi Super League, Newlands in Cape Town is the predictable front-runner in terms of crowd attendance.

    Almost 20,000 people attended Friday through Sunday’s quartet of fixtures at different venues, as Newlands significantly outdid the Wanderers in Johannesburg, Boland Park in Paarl and Kingsmead in Durban.

    Just short of 7,000 witnessed the Cape Town Blitz triumph over the Tshwane Spartans at Newlands on Friday.

    Under 5,000 saw the Jozi Stars lose to the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants at the Wanderers, while less than 3,000 were present for the Blitz’s victory over the Durban Heat. Both matches were played on Saturday.

    At Boland Park on Sunday, nearly 5,000 attended the Paarl Rocks’ defeat to the Spartans.

    Official attendances:

    • Newlands: 6,953
    • Wanderers: 4,896
    • Kingsmead: 2,851
    • Boland Park: 4,643

    St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth can accommodate 19,000 – and will host the Heat and Giants on Friday.

    Bloemfontein’s Mangaung Oval in the Free State has a capacity of 20,000, but was not afforded a Mzansi Super League franchise. The Western Cape was, instead, afforded two teams – Cape Town Blitz and Paarl Rocks.

    ‘My gut feel is that I am concerned. We are extremely disappointed and I don’t know how it will affect us in the long run. My main concern is that it might lead to a drainage of players to other venues,’ Free State Cricket Union chief executive officer Johan van Heerden told SA Cricket magazine last month.

    ‘Cricket South Africa gave us an opportunity to do a presentation. I have requested to look at the other presentations from the other provinces, not to judge them but to see where we went wrong to help us improve for the future. Kimberley and a lot of other venues also applied for a franchise, so it’s not only the Free State that is disappointed, but I would love to see how the judging was done, as I need to learn how the process works for the future.’

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