– South Africa’s New Year’s Test match against the West Indies will be the last
for outgoing CEO of the Western Province Cricket Association, André Odendaal.
He has left a legacy which has seen the Cape Cobras win 11 trophies
under his stewardship in 10 years, but just as satisfying for him have
been the 39 international matches in all formats that he and his team have
supervised at the historic Newlands ground since January 2005.
will relinquish his position as CEO at the end of January.
has become something of a fortress of South African domination since 2005.
South Africa have won 10 of their 15 Tests there during Odendaal’s time in
charge, with only two losses to Australia. The Proteas have also reigned
victorious in nine out of 11 One Day Internationals at the home of Western Cape
South Africa recorded only 11 victories in 36 Tests at Newlands in the long
stretch before 2005, while losing 18, or fully half of these.
good trivial pursuit statistics, and they are a monument to Graeme Smith record
as a captain, but to have been operationally in charge of Newlands during
nearly one-third of the Test matches ever played here has been a huge
privilege, and I will be leaving with many wonderful memories,” chirped
savouring every moment of his last game. “I love the way in which the table
gets laid for the first ball on the first morning”, he said.
of people are involved in getting numberless small details sorted, with grounds
curator Evan Flynt and his team at the centre of it all.
“He is a
real professional and the pitch and outfield have never looked better than
now,” Odendaal added.
witnessed some stirring moments at Newlands in the past decade.
“My first Test
in charge against England in January 2005 was a CEO’s dream, with the home team
winning at 18:00 on the fifth afternoon in front of a full house, which
included 6 000 thirsty Barmy Army supporters. A record 80 000 people
bought tickets for that one”.
Two of his
favourite Cape Cobras stars, Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander, have been amongst
the statistically most successful bowlers at Newlands during his time, with
Steyn taking 58 wickets in 12 Tests, while Philander is third on the list with
31 wickets in only five Tests at this venue.
stats include Vernon’s memorable debut spell at Newlands in November 2011 when
he and Morne Morkel had Australia reeling at 21/9 and, eventually, 47 all out”,
score at the ground is the 262 by Stephen Fleming of New Zealand – “I remember
the game was in the rugby season, in May for the first time ever, and we over
prepared the pitch because we were afraid the winter conditions would favour
the bowlers too much”.
Kallis, Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla - all Cobras - have also played major
roles in entrenching South Africa’s dominance at one of the most picturesque
grounds in the world during the past decade.
legendary Kallis compiled 1 440 runs in all Tests at Newlands at an average of
72. Smith, who retired from international cricket in March 2014, is second on
the list of leading run-scorers, having smashed 1 075 runs in Tests.
53 of his 108 Tests as captain, of which 10 came at Newlands.
current captain of the SA team, has struck 906 runs and averages 41.18 at the
runs), Herschelle Gibbs, Western Province’s home-grown prodigy (384 runs), and
AB de Villiers (380) occupy the top spots in terms of ODI-runs scored at
Newlands the past 10 years, while Makhaya Ntini (14) has taken the most
ODI-wickets at the venue the past decade.
cricketers! It has been a truly memorable journey. This is a special place
under the mountain”, Odendaal concluded.
successor as CEO of the Western Province Cricket Association and Cape Cobras is
due to be announced on January 12.