More winter Tests are coming for SA

Cricket South Africa have labelled their experiment with Test cricket in winter a success despite the organisational shambles that took place in the first Test at Kingsmead.

Supersport Park in Centurion, produced a lively pitch and the outfield was in pristine condition despite the low winter rainfall.

South Africa's skipper for the series, Faf du Plessis, said: "We want to play Test matches at home as much as possible so if that means we have to do it in the winter, we are all for it. Especially in Centurion,

"Everything about the field was really good. The weather was really good, the pitch played well and the outfield was beautiful."

There was some concern that winter conditions would leave the pitches barren and lifeless but both pitches had plenty of bounce and life.

The stand-in captain continued: "This was a great Test wicket – you had all the different combinations and all the factors come into play,

"Day one, your seamers must play a big role, the wicket must move around and you must be tight as a batting unit. Day two and three must be good batting conditions and then day four and five must bring its different challenges.

"Maybe the only thing we didn't see in this match was spin on day four and five, and also, we didn't see reverse swing. It didn't happen because the outfield was beautiful, nice and lush, so those are the only things we didn't see."

Winter grass was planted at Supersport Park in April, allowing it to come through by the time the Test was staged, in Durban the decompacting process regrettably was started later and a flash flood at the end of June prevented the ground from recovering.

Durban has not been ruled out as a future venue for winter Tests, but with the conditions in the Highveld virtually guaranteed to be fair, it seems likely that venues 'north of the wall' will be preferred, with Cape Town ruled out by heavy winter rain and Port Elizabeth also seen as risky.

When asked if Supersport Park would be keen on hosting more winter Tests, Jacques Faul, Titans CEO said: "It's like asking a kid if they want ice-cream,

"We would definitely do it again. We considered it a huge success."

Attendances were good in Centurion, while far from sold out the first two days saw the crowd swell to 9,000 on the remaining two days the crowd dropped to 3,500 and around 2,000 respectively, numbers which thrilled Faul.

The CEO added: "That's what we budgeted for,

"We would have liked to start on Friday but that was impossible because of the regulations about the number of days teams needs between Tests. Ideally, we would like to have it Friday to Tuesday."

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