South Africa’s oldest cricket ground has received a pricey upgrade in preparation for the day-night Boxing Day Test against Zimbabwe.
Up to R67-million was spent on St George’s Park, a stadium that has essentially been the ‘home of cricket’ for the Proteas and Eastern Province stretching back 128 years.
The first-ever ‘Test’ match at the ground took place in 1889 between the South African XI and England, and will now play a part in another historic moment when Zimbabwe take on South Africa in the first day-night match in the country and first-ever four-day Test.
‘The old lady is really looking good‚’ Mark Williams‚ the chief executive of the Warriors, was quoted saying on the TimesLive website.
According to Williams, new floodlights have been installed costing R27-million. He also disclosed that R39.7-million has been spent on various other improvements‚ including a new scoreboard and drainage system.
‘In the centre of the pitch we averaged 3 700 lux‚’ he said about the stadium lighting. ‘I reckon it will be consistent around 3 000 lux. We adjusted the lights down to 45% of capacity and in the centre of the pitch we were clocking 2 000 lux.’
‘At the latter part of the day and into the early evening‚ there is a bit of a gap [for the public‚ tourists especially]‚’ he continued. ‘It could be filled by the cricket; we’re certainly going to try and put on something special.’
The match between the Proteas and Zimbabwe will start at 2 pm on 26 December.