Cricket South Africa have admitted they blundered in moving
the 'Boxing Day' Test to Port Elizabeth in their 2007/2008
programme. And they also admitted that the mid-January Test,
which had traditionally been played at Sahara Oval St George's
Park each year but was moved to Sahara Stadium Kingsmead this
season was a mistake.
Traditionally the Boxing Day Test has always been hosted by
KwaZulu-Natal Cricket, but at the Cricket South Africa planning
meeting for the 2007/2008 schedule the committee decided to try
something new to infuse new interest into the five-day game.
However both Tests the one at Port Elizabeth and the match in
Durban, which only lasted three days failed to draw the crowds.
The Port Elizabeth Test drew 4 000 spectators for the first
day, but on the next three days the gate figures tumbled an
average of 2 500 people came through the turnstiles to give the
match an 11 000 crowd figure.
Meanwhile the Test in Durban last week it lasted just three
days as the South Africans wrapped up the series 2-1 against the
West Indies saw 19 000 spectators coming through the gates.
"It's was definitely a wrong move. We blundered badly," said
Gerald Majola, chief executive of Cricket South Africa.
"We wanted to try something new this season by moving the
Test matches around. However it did not work as there were
hardly any spectators at the Port Elizabeth Test.
"Traditionally the Port Elizabeth Test is played in
mid-January and we have had good support from the locals for the
We felt that if the crowd support in mid-January was good
then it would be better if we had a Boxing Day Test in that
"However people living at the coast love the beaches during
the Christmas and Boxing Day period, hence we did not attract
the crowd for the West Indies Test match."
proved that it can still attract fans."