As soon as this Tuesday, cricket fans will make their long-awaited return to the stands during the Provincial T20 Cup that has entered the quarter-final stages.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) confirmed that ticket sales would commence on Monday for 2 000 vaccinated fans to enjoy live cricket in the country for the first time since Australia toured here in February and March last year.
The news bodes well for the summer of cricket, too, where the Proteas will host the Netherlands in three ODIs in November and India in a tour comprising three Tests starting December.
"We are delighted that the fans, our most important stakeholders, are coming back to the stadiums," said CSA's acting Chief Executive Officer Pholetsi Moseki.
"Cricket is yet again in a good space, and there is a lot of hard work taking place to ensure that the game of cricket is placed on the top spot.
"We want fans to come and experience the new look stadium experience, and we remind fans that tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis.
"Due to limited capacity still and to minimise any disappointments, we encourage cricket fans and sports followers to quickly get their tickets as soon as sales open.
"We also take this opportunity to remind and encourage all sports lovers to ensure that they are fully vaccinated in order to improve the health situation in the country and to hopefully reduce the Covid numbers, as this will eventually see a growth in the number of fans in the stands."
South Western Districts face the Titans at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley (10:00) on Tuesday in the first Provincial T20 Cup quarter-final encounter, followed by the Knights versus Western Province (14:30) at the same venue.
Fans will be allowed to attend right up to the competition's conclusion on 22 October.
Full Cricket South Africa statement:
The cricket fever is in the air, and what better way to welcome it than being part of it.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) together with the rest of the sporting fraternity recently celebrated the news of the announcement of the amended Covid-19 regulations that see the fans return to stadiums to experience their first love and to support their cricket teams of choice.
Very soon, each venue will be able to welcome and host a maximum of 2 000 (two thousand) fans across the various cricket venues in the country.
Preparations have been done and it is now time for fans to come and enjoy a live game of cricket.
As of Monday, 18 October from 09:00, CSA, in association with the Affiliates (the venue managers) will open public ticket sales at R50 a ticket, for the remainder of the matches of the Provincial T20 Cup competition that is currently taking place. The ticket sales will be rolled out, as follows:
- Quarter Final 1/2 (19 October 21)
- Quarter Final 3/4 (20 October 21)
- Semi-Final 1/2 (21 October 21)
- Final (22 October 21)
Capacity will be split over suites, stands, and the grass embankments ticket sales to fans will be conducted online only, in line with the health and safety regulations to reduce interaction with spectators. The online function will allow the fans to download and self-print the tickets in a PDF format.
Access control will follow the normal protocols, with the ticket and accreditation cards being strictly monitored to provide a detailed log of all access to the stadium. All tickets will be unreserved to allow spectators the ability to social distance and patrons will need to scan their own tickets once they arrive at the turnstiles.
The stadia will create an "Outer Ring" prior to the turnstiles, where security will validate that every patron gaining access to the precinct is fully vaccinated. The verification process will require patrons to either produce their original vaccination card or present a printed copy of the SA Government-issued Vaccinated Certificate. Alternatively, the patron may also present a digital version of the Vaccinated Certificate.
In addition to this, the patron's Identity Document, Drivers Licence or Passport will have to match the details on the Vaccination Certificate.
While vendors will be operational, unfortunately, under the current regulations, alcohol may not be sold or consumed in the vicinity of the stadiums.