Photo Credit: Darren Stewart/ Gallo Images/ Dolphins Cricket
Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium rekindled its reputation as a premier test cricket venue in South Africa after the Proteas beat Bangladesh by 220 runs in the first test match of the series at the Durban venue this week.
Having been starved of the game’s purest form since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the team at Kingsmead have been hard at work transforming the historic venue into one that offers spectators a one-of-a-kind experience.
“We knew that test cricket would return and it was important that we were ready when it did,” CEO of KZN Cricket Heinrich Strydom said.
“The pitch that was prepared was a very good test pitch allowing for some good batting and some quality bowling throughout the match.
“To see the Bangladesh seamers bowl well in such foreign conditions and then the South African spinners dominate showed how even the pitch was.
“We received over 50 millimetres of rain on Saturday night and the ground drained brilliantly and was ready for day four on Sunday morning.
“It’s been a goal of ours to make sure that we could put on the best possible display when international cricket returned to Durban and I think we did that.”
Not only was the match a great advert for test cricket but to have one of Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium’s favourite sons Keshav Maharaj take seven wickets in the second innings and wrap up the win was extra special.
“Keshav has been an incredible servant to Dolphins and KZN Cricket and for one of our own to win the player of the match award on his home ground in an incredible display of left-arm spin was very rewarding.
“To see him go to the top of the wicket-takers list for South African spinners since isolation was also a special moment for us.
“The Proteas team has showed that they are a force to be reckoned with in test cricket this summer and to play a part in their push for qualification for the ICC Test World Championship finals has been an honour.
“We cannot wait to welcome the national team back to Durban and to continue to offer the players and the spectators a unique experience,” Strydom added.
President of KZN Cricket Yunus Bobat echoed the sentiments of Strydom and was happy to see the hard work paying off.
“The team here has worked incredibly hard to get international cricket back to this famous venue,” Bobat said.
“There was a lot of pressure to deliver and I believe that Mr Strydom and his team delivered more than expected and we cannot wait to have test cricket back when we can welcome even more spectators into the ground.”