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St George’s Oval to host first Four-day Pink-Ball Test after R66.7m Makeover 

St George’s Oval to host first Four-day Pink-Ball Test after R66.7m Makeover
Port Elizabeth boasts about the history of cricket in South Africa. Photo Credit: Web/Google.

The makeover of a historic stadium was tuned at the cost of R66.7-million for the St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth, before hosting the historic Boxing Day Test between hosts South Africa and Zimbabwe.

The highly-appreciated step was taken by the chief executive officer of the Eastern Province Cricket (EPC) and the Warriors Cricket Club (WCC) for the stadium which has been hosting cricket little over 128 years.

“PE has a good cricket culture and it’s a good time of the year‚ and folks are used to our Boxing Day TestMark Williams told Times Live.

The new-look of the stadium will be unveiled worldwide with the first day-and-night four-day fixture on December 26 at the stadium which was formerly known as Sahara Oval.

St George’s Oval, Boxing Day, LED Lights, Port Elizabeth, South Vs Zimbabwe, Pink-ball Test, ICC
Richardson gives a go-ahead to Boxing Day four-day Test. Photo Credit: ICC.

(Read Also: SA v Ban 2017: Bangladesh Cricket Board To Question Team After Heavy Drubbing In South Africa)

The game was approved by the world cricket body ICC in Auckland as its chief executive Dave Richardson stated it would be more of a trial.

The latest floodlights were installed which further saw the cricket administration of one of the oldest stadiums invested in millions to renovate the picturesque ground.

With new bulbs, more effective Williams remarked the new set would be installed with the set of around 3000 lux while taking the 22-yard surface into consideration.

“In the centre of the pitch, we averaged 3700 lux. I reckon it will be consistent around 3000 lux,” Williams added.

St George’s Oval, Boxing Day, LED Lights, Port Elizabeth, South Vs Zimbabwe, Pink-ball Test, ICC
First Test on South African soil was held in 1889 at St George’s Park. Photo Credit: Web.

Moreover, the home of gentleman’s game for Cricket South Africa (CSA) also spent the staggering amount of R39.7 million owing to the full-fledged renovation process.
It’s pertinent to note that LED bulbs have taken down the cost of staggering power bills; the administration reiterated it would be cost-effective.

“We adjusted the lights down to 45% of capacity and in the centre of the pitch we were clocking 2000 lux,” Williams asserted.

On November 6, the Warriors are supposed to play the warm-up fixture to test the new set of lights.

Interestingly, the amount was also spent on the installation of the fresh scoreboard, as the inclement weather has been taken into the due consideration, in a bid to provide the quality drainage system.

St George’s Oval, Boxing Day, LED Lights, Port Elizabeth, South Vs Zimbabwe, Pink-ball Test, ICC
In August 2014, South thrashed Zimbabwe by nine wickets in a Test at Harare Sports Club in Harare. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

According to the report published by Times Live, the stadium will be four times brighter than it was before.

The old lady [St George’s Park] is really looking good‚” Williams further added.

The decision was made after the authorities found the 800 lux insufficient for the day and night fixtures.

On November 6, the Warriors are supposed to play the warm-up fixture to test the new set of lights.

“I believe the crowd is looking forward to it. Day/night events at St George’s Park are always better-attended‚ and I reckon there will be a better response.” William concluded.

St George’s Oval, Boxing Day, LED Lights, Port Elizabeth, South Vs Zimbabwe, Pink-ball Test, ICC
The Proteas are ranked second in ICC Test list. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

As it would be the first four-day Test which will be played by the two Test-playing countries, the up gradation of the stadium allows the hosts to maintain venue which has hosted the first-ever Test fixture on South African soil.

In 1889, hosts in the form of South Africa faced England to enter into the record books.

Surprisingly, England won the Test match by eight wickets under the leadership of Sir Aubrey Smith and in 1896. The Three Lions replicated the performance by dismissing hosts on 93 in first innings and 30 in second innings at the same venue.

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