during day three of the second test match between South Africa and England at Kingsmead Stadium on December 28, 2009 in Durban, South Africa.

The Durban, Kingsmead has come under scrutiny after eight of nine sessions in South Africa’s ongoing  Test against New Zealand were washed away over three days, making the chance of a result, other than a draw, implausible.  On day three and four, no play took place, despite there being no rain early on the third morning because soft patches on the recently relaid outfield were deemed unsafe for play.

Both days saw a similar sequence of events:  inspection at midday and 2 pm an abandonment by 2.20 pm. The ground staffs were instructed not to use any artificial means of drying the outfield and no one was allowed on the surface at any time on both days.

On Sunday morning the third day of the Test- after the ground had received 66 mm of rain, the super stopper was made to stop operating for fear it would do further damage to the soft patches.  The umpires chose to leave the drying process to natural elements. Bright sunshine on Sunday and heavy winds of up to 70 kph, albeit under overcast skies on Monday, were considered sufficient to firm up the patches.  Conditions improved with each inspection, but not enough for play to take place.

Several other methods were also unused. To dry the outfield neither  dryers nor blowers were not used because the outfield was soft underfoot, not wet. Even using sawdust any earlier would prevent the natural elements from hardening the patches.

In July flash flooding was reported  throughout July and rain was also forecast  for the second day  of the  match. Considering these factors, Kingsmead could have made efforts to produce more covers than ones they currently have which protect the square.  Buying enough covers for the entire outfield would cost estimated R400,000 an amount franchisees struggle to raise, but covers could have been borrowed from clubs in the area.

The fallout from this match means that Kingsmead will continue to struggle to maintain its reputation as one of South Africa’s premier grounds. In 2014 due to poor crowd attendances saw the Boxing Day Test moved in 2014 and again this year to St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth. Numbers during the ongoing match would not have done boosted the perception. An average of 2500 people were in attendance on days one and two, with numbers dwindling for the rest of the match. On Sunday, people were coming to the ground even after the play called off .

Players were also not spotted at the ground. The ACSU regulations stipulate that  once they arrive at the ground they cannot leave until the play is called off. For that reason, South Africa did not arrive at the ground on Sunday, but New Zealand turned up later in the day for a net session. Both teams were on the ground they cannot leave until the play is called off. For that reason, South Africa did not arrive at the ground on Sunday, but New Zealand turned up later in the day for a net session. Both teams were at the ground on Monday. Like the groundstaff, they were not allowed on the outfield. Faf du Plessis and Russell Domingo wandered over briefly before being instructed off.

Match referee Andy Pycroft refused to comment on the state of the ground but will rate the outfield at the end of the match, at which time the ICC may issue a statement. Until then, Durban remains on tenterhooks as it fights for its place among the country’s elite venues


    Sports Crazy man, Live in cricket, Love writing, Studied English journalism in Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Chose sports as the subject for study, Born 24 years ago during the 1992 Cricket world cup. When he is not writing love to watch movies and reading books and novels.

    Related Posts

    English Premier League 2017/18: Round Up – Round 16

    Total no.of goals scored Round 16 = 27   Saturday (09/12/2017) Hammers stunned Chelsea West Ham United 1 (Marko Arnautovic 6') – Chelsea 0 Hosts West Ham United...

    ISL: Mumbai City End Chennaiyin FC’s Winning Streak

    Mumbai, Dec 10: Mumbai City FC put an end to Chennaiyin FCs hat-trick of victories with a gritty 1-0 win in the fifth round of...

    Napoli fail to lead Serie A table after draw against Fiorentina

    Naples (Italy), Dec 11: Napoli on Sunday failed to top the Serie A table after a 0-0 home draw against Fiorentina in the 16th round...

    Karnataka, Bengal Dominate Inter-School TT

    Vijayawada, Dec 10: Karnataka and Bengal pocketed one gold, one silver and two bronze medals each to dominate the Inter-School Table Tennis National Championships 2017...

    HWL Final: Australia beat Argentina to Clinch Title

    Bhubaneswar, Dec 11: Drag-flicker Blake Govers struck two minutes from time as defending champions Australia edged past Argentina 2-1 to win the title in the...