Cricket-lovers in Kimberley can look forward to being the first spectators to resume watching live cricket at the ground, with CSA confirming that they are finalising plans to have a crowd in attendance for the first time since the Covid virus spread uncontrollably through the country 19 months ago at next week’s T20 Provincial Knockout Cup.
With government having now given permission for up to 2,000 spectators to be allowed as long as all Covid procedures and precautions are followed, cricket is likely to be the second sport to open its doors, after 2,000 vaccinated fans were able to watch Bafana Bafana beat Ethiopia 1-0 in their World Cup qualifier earlier this week in Soweto.
The CSA T20 Provincial Knockout Cup resumes with the quarterfinals on Tuesday at the Diamond Oval.
“Chances are that we will have our first set of spectators for the finals,” a CSA spokesperson confirmed to The Citizen on Wednesday evening.
“We are finalising the logistics and we should be making an announcement soon.”
Tuesday’s action sees South-Western Districts take on the Northerns Titans, and then the Free State Knights, who used to have Kimberley as one of their home venues, play Western Province.
KZN Dolphins versus Eastern Province Warriors and Boland Rocks against North-West Dragons are the other quarterfinals, both to be played on Wednesday.
The semi-finals will then take place on Thursday and then the final will be held on Friday.
SA Rugby announced earlier on Wednesday that fully vaccinated supporters will be allowed to attend both club and professional matches from now on.
But the four big franchises – Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers – are all overseas playing in the United Rugby Championship and the first senior professional rugby match to be open to spectators is likely to be on November 6 at Loftus Versfeld when the Carling Champion XV take on Kenya.