Wanderers back on England tour

SOUTH Africa's premier cricket ground, the Wanderers, will stage three matches in the England tour later this year, after the resolution of a dispute between Cricket South Africa and the Gauteng Cricket Board.

SOUTH Africa's premier cricket ground, the Wanderers, will stage three matches in the England tour later this year, after the resolution of a dispute between Cricket South Africa and the Gauteng Cricket Board.

The three matches - a Twenty20 game, a one-day international and a Test match - were withdrawn from the Wanderers as a result of the bitter dispute that erupted between the two boards.

Mtutuzeli Nyoka, the CSA president, said last week that there would be no international cricket under the auspices of CSA until the GCB had apologised for allegations made against CSA and its chief executive Gerald Majola.

But one of the mediators appointed by Sports Minister Dr Makhenkesi Stofile, Advocate Brian Currin, said yesterday that the matches had been restored to Johannesburg as part of the dispute resolution. The two parties agreed on a programme aimed at the transformation of Gauteng cricket, including the drafting of a revised constitution for the GCB, as well as a Transformation Charter.

Stofile appointed two mediators to help resolve the dispute when the parties were unable to reach an agreement.

"Cricket is an asset of South Africa - it does not belong to CSA or GCB," said Stofile yesterday. "Neither CSA nor GCB are the winners in this settlement - South Africa is the winner."

Nyoka said it was difficult to calculate the financial cost of the dispute, but said the emotional costs were far greater.

"Things got out of hand," he said. "I'm very relieved we have managed to undo the damage. Holding an international cricket tour in South Africa without the Wanderers would be like Hamlet without the prince."

GCB chief executive Barry Skjoldhammer said he was over the moon.

"The ceiling isn't high enough to hold me," Skjoldhammer said. "I am relieved that the Wanderers is back on the map." -Sapa

X