In the wake of the abandoned first match of the Sunfoil Test Series between the Standard Bank Proteas and the New Zealand Blackcaps at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead this week, the Durban-based franchise is taking steps to ensure that its status as a premier test cricket venue is not in doubt, and will compensate fans for tickets purchased on days when no play was possible during the Test.
“It was very disappointing to lose that amount of time in a Test match that Durban Test cricket fans were really looking forward to,” said Rajesh Behari, acting CEO of the Sunfoil Dolphins . “I was amazed at how patient and understanding our fans were during those lengthy delays, for which we are really grateful.”
“We benchmark this stadium by the very best in the world and are determined to ensure that each and every match and Test matches in particular, are memorable at this venue, which has hosted 42 Tests since the first one against England in 1923.
“The only ground to have hosted more Test matches in South Africa is PPC Newlands and our rich Test cricket heritage here at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead is something that we guard unwaveringly, as it brings with it a loyal following of cricket fans whom we value deeply.”
Behari reinforced the impact that the highly unusual heavy winter rainfall, combined with the late work done on the outfield, had had on the venue’s outfield during the match.
The CEO added his weight to Cricket South Africa’s acknowledgement that the Kingsmead ground staff, under Wilson Ngobese, had done everything in their power to deal with the problems with the softened outfield, but that their role was limited in scope by the match officials in charge of the Test once the wet outfield complications developed.
“We are already hard at work taking measures to ensure that the condition of the outfield does not impact on both international and domestic fixtures in the future.”
The Sunfoil Dolphins and KZN Cricket Union have confirmed that fans who purchased tickets for the days on which no play was possible, would be able to exchange these tickets for tickets to any domestic match in Durban, simply by making contact with the Ticketing Office of the KZN Cricket Union.
Fans preferring a refund may do so also via the KZNCU’s Ticketing Office should they have purchased their tickets through the stadium’s ticket office while those who purchased their tickets from Ticket Pro must apply to Ticket Pro directly for refunds.
The Sunfoil Dolphins play their first game at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead in the Sunfoil Series four-day competition over the last weekend in October.
“Summer rains are a reality in Durban and we want to make sure that this ground, which has a good reputation for drainage and dealing with rain-delays, will be in top condition for the upcoming domestic fixtures as well as the two internationals against Australia and Sri Lanka,” said Behari.
He added that he was looking forward to ensuring that fans attending the two upcoming international ODIs at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead in October and February enjoy a rewarding match day experience at the iconic international cricket venue.
The KZNCU Ticket Office can be contacted at 031 335 4285 or 031 335 4200 during office hours.