Cape Town - The hastily-arranged Pakistan cricket tour to South Africa has thrown the Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA) a financial lifeline, CEO Andre Odendaal said on Wednesday.
“We’ve just passed through months of uncertainty and then we’ve had to deal with the curtailed Indian tour only to hear that Newlands was not on the itinerary,” Odendaal said.
“Now Newlands will be watching international cricket after all. We’re pleased to say to local cricket fans that this summer will be a bumper one."
In the wake of Newlands losing out on plumb fixtures against India, after the tourists’ programme was slashed dramatically, the WPCA stood to lose "well over R5-million".
Newlands had since been allocated a Twenty20 and a One-Day International (ODI) fixture against Pakistan, who start their South African tour on Wednesday, November 20, in Johannesburg.
“For the first time in the history of Newlands, it will host a T20, an ODI and a Test (against Australia) in one season.
"On top of it, the Cobras have done very well so we’re hopeful of staging the final of the domestic one-day competition as well."
Odendaal said they were also excited by the prospect of seeing Protea and world number-two Test and ODI batsman Hashim Amla making his debut for the franchise this season.
"We’re also awaiting our world-class West Indian spinning wizard, Sunil Narine. The big question is who will (coach) Paul (Adams) leave out of the team, especially because ‘old’ men like Justin Kemp and Charl Langeveldt have really been on top of their game and probably playing better than they have in past seasons.”
Cricket fans would still be missing out on the traditional Test match at the start of the new year and WPCA had been looking at other options to fill the gap.
“It would be premature to divulge what we’re planning but there will be an event at Newlands during that time,” Odendaal said.
“We are working very closely with Cricket SA to fill that gap. The announcement in not ready yet but Cricket SA will release details very soon.”
Newlands host Pakistan on Friday, November 22 (T20) and Sunday 24 (ODI). Australia's third and final Test would take place at Newlands from March 1, 2014.