Cape Town’s Newlands Stadium will host South Africa’s 2020 New Year’s Test against England. The stadium had run the risk of losing the iconic fixture due to potential disruptions stemming from an ongoing construction project, and concerns over the administrative and financial affairs of the Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA). Late last month, CSA CEO Thabang Moroe said Newlands may not be in a position to host the match – which will bring with it big numbers of touring supporters – but ESPNcricinfo has learned that the match will go ahead.
The confirmation means major rearrangements for the summer have been avoided and the four-Test series against England will go ahead as originally planned. The venues for the matches are SuperSport Park (Centurion), which will host the Boxing Day Test, Newlands, St George’s Park (Port Elizabeth) and the Wanderers (Johannesburg).
“We are currently gearing up to host the New Year’s Test match at Newlands as planned,” Moroe said in a press release by CSA. “The readiness of the stadium is on track and, barring a significant change in circumstances, it is unlikely that the venue for this Test will change from our schedule.”
However, this does not bring an end to the difficulties the WPCA are facing as they remain under CSA administration. The WPCA board remain suspended and under CSA administration with former CEO Andre Odendaal at the helm. CSA, who lent WPCA R81 million (US$5.3 million) for the construction of four office blocks and a refurbishment on the existing structures, are looking into WPCA’s finances and governance.
“WPCA chief executive Nabeal Dien will be in charge of the smooth running of all cricket operations and will report directly to the CSA administrator, professor Andre Odendaal, until such time as CSA is reasonably of the opinion that the WPCA administrative and financial affairs are being conducted according to best practice,” Moroe concluded.