Kingsmead draped in festive cheer as Kallis bids adieu

2013-12-27 00:00

THERE was enough festive colour and cheer to make Kingsmead the place to be for day one of the Boxing Day Test — the second Test — against India yesterday. Jacques Kallis announcing this as his final Test also added to the flavour and those arriving early paid homage to one of the world’s greatest players when he led the team onto the field and lifted his sunhat to the crowd.

With the sun unleashing its full power over the ground in the morning before the clouds moved in after lunch, the fans flocked in with queues of people outside the north and south turnstiles, armed with deckchairs, umbrellas and sun cream, hoping for a full day’s cricket in its longest form.

This started as one of the province’s hottest Boxing Days for many a year and it was encouraging to see Kingsmead blooming with colour and character.

Christmas cheer and goodwill still prevailed and while the cricket ground out its course in the middle, the food stalls and particularly the beer vendors were kept busy.

For most of the folks, it was a morning of stamina and endurance, particularly those on the grass and open stands, where they were directly in the sun’s firing line.

These are hardy people who take whatever the elements throw at them, any sunburn and its painful aftermath quelled with regular cups of the cold, mellow liquid.

Castle Corner was abuzz and the first part of Kingsmead to fill up.

True to form, the light worsened toward mid-afternoon and at tea (2.40 pm), the floodlights were already beaming, making a full day’s play a distant thought, even to the most optimistic supporter.

• Kallis’s amazing career: page 20

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