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Cricket's financial struggle prompts Free State to 'provisionally' sell the Mangaung Oval

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The Mangaung Oval. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)
The Mangaung Oval. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

International cricket's return to Bloemfontein comes at a time where the Free State Cricket Union (FSCU) has taken proactive steps to ensure the survival of the professional game in central South Africa.

The most radical of those steps emerged last week after the FSCU entered into a provisional agreement with Stadium Properties, a firm based in the city, to buy the Mangaung Oval for R40 million.

Johan van Heerden, FSCU's long-serving chief executive, confirmed to News24 Sport that the union, which will host two of the three fixtures in the Proteas' ODI series against England starting on Friday, explored the arrangement as a "last resort" of sorts.

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