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This is the second of a series of World Cup city and venue guides in the lead-up to the tournament, starting on February 9, 2003.

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Cape Town
[ city and venue guide ]

Hosted Countries:

  • South Africa

Matches:

  • Opening Ceremony
  • South Africa v West Indies
  • Kenya v Canada
  • England v Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka v West Indies
  • One Super Six

Ground:

  • Newlands

Demographics:

  • Sea level
  • 350 years old
  • Population of 2.6 million
  • Most speak English

Climate:

Cape Town situated on the tip of Africa has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. Being a city on the coast it does at times become fairly windy but average temperatures of between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius can be expected during the late summer months of February to March. This is one of the most pleasant times to visit the Cape, with its offerings of long, warm days and cool evenings. Capetonians are known to be slightly laid back and pretty casual dressers. Some restaurants do, however, require more formal attire. It is best to inquire ahead of time what the dress code is, if there is any doubt.

General:

Recorded history of the Western Cape does not stretch back much beyond the arrival of European settlers in the 17th century. It is however, known that the region was populated extensively by two related groups the Khoikhoi and the San (known collectively as the Khoisan).

Although Bartholomew Dias became the first European to round the Cape of Good Hope in 1488, it was only in 1652, with the arrival of Hollander Jan van Riebeeck that the first European colony was established. The colony was set up to provide fresh water and provisions for ships of the Dutch East India Company

Since then Cape Town has rapidly become one of the world's premier travel destinations.

Cape Town is probably best known for Table Mountain, which forms an imposing backdrop to the city. The Table Mountain Reserve stretches from the city, right down to Cape Point.

The Cape is also famous for its winelands, which produce some of the finest wines in the world. Stellenbosch, Franschoek and Paarl are probably the best known names, but there are also a host of smaller towns that are well worth exploring and very close to the "Mother City", a reflection of its status as the oldest city in South Africa, and its warm, open welcome to visitors..

The spectacular Atlantic Seaboard is definitely South Africa's riviera, playground of the rich and famous. It also boasts some of the finest beaches in the southern hemisphere. Clifton, Camps Bay, Blouberg, and False Bay have some of the best swimming beaches in the Cape, the most famous of which is Boulders, just outside of Simonstown, which comes complete with a colony of jackass penguins.

Unparalleled views of the city and peninsula, including Cape Town's bustling harbour and pristine beaches, can be enjoyed from the summit of the majestic Table Mountain. Home to more than 8500 species of flora, Table mountain was declared a National Park in May 1998. Two cable cars carry passengers to the summit, their revolving floors providing full 360 degree views of Lion's Head, the city and Camp's Bay.

A wealth of sightseeing, entertainment and shopping venues are just waiting to be explored. From old-style markets to sophisticated malls, Cape Town throbs with activity. This is a truly cosmopolitan city from its markets, cafes and active nightlife to its galleries, book stores and museums.

The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is one the most successful developments of its kind in the world. An entertainment Mecca and working harbour, it offers everything from fine restaurants and stylish shops to hotels, cinemas and live music venues. The Two Oceans Aquarium, an international marine zoo, is a must-see attraction for any visitor to the city.

Robben Island, originally a victualling station and later an asylum and leper colony, became famous as a prison for those considered dangerous to the old South African regime. The island's most famous prisoner, President Nelson Mandela, was imprisoned for more than twenty years on the island. Robben Island, now a National Monument, is reached via a 45 minute boat ride from the V&A Waterfront.

Entertainment:

  • Numerous restaurants and nightclubs
  • Cinemas, theaters, and art galleries
  • Craft markets and Museums
  • Golf, Big Game Fishing
  • Organized touring operators
  • City
  • Cape Point
  • Robben Island
  • Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
  • Wine route
  • Helicopter flights
  • The Castle
  • Big Game Fishing

Cape Town is also 45 minutes from Paarl (Boland Park). Cape Town International airport is in easy access of the city and links with regular flights to all the major venues of the World Cup.

Newlands:

  • Constructed: 1887
  • 1st Match: Mother Country vs Colonial Born, 2 January 1888
  • 1st First Class Match: Western Province v Natal, 6 January 1890
  • 1st Test Match: ENG vs RSA, 25 March 1889
  • Capacity at the ground is around 25 000 including suites.

One of the most picturesque cricket grounds in the world is Newlands. Originally standing on a farm called Loevenstein owned by Jacob Letterstedt. In 1886 he donated the ground to his daughter as a wedding present when she married Viscount de Montmarte. The Viscount in turn leased the ground to the Western Province Cricket Club at a rental of 100 Pounds per annum.

Big changes were effected at Newlands in 1902 as they eagerly awaited the arrival of the touring Australian team. The large pine trees extending from the "B" field along Camp Ground Road and around the pavilion were replaced by oak trees. Their growth took many years, but today the Oaks Enclosure is one of the most popular vantage points for Newlands spectators, even if the play has to be watched side-on instead of, ideally, from behind the wickets. In 1927 a turf wicket was laid down and by September 1933 following an executive meeting, the WPCU was able to reply to a SACA directive: "Turf wickets are now definitely established in the Western Province and have come to stay".

In 1935 a new pavilion, with more seating and quipped with adequate dressing rooms, resulting in members having the exclusive use of the old wooden building, had been completed. By 1948 the construction of new cloakrooms for men and women spectators and a new public bar was also in place.

To honour the memory of South African cricketers who had lost their lives in World War II it was decided to build a memorial scoreboard. On December 1, 1948, the memorial scoreboard, with its clock, was unveiled. The tablet, which bears no names, bears the following inscription in both English and Afrikaans: IN MEMORY OF CRICKETERS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR COUNTRY. THEY PLAYED THE GAME. TER GEDAGTENIS AAN DIE KRIEKETSPELERS VAN SUIDELIKE AFRIKA WAT HULLE LEWENS VIR HULLE LAND GEGEE HET.

Numerous changes followed but then next major upgrade came in 1977 with the completion of the new Press Media Gallery and the new WPCU Suite and Offices. In 1984 futher upgrades were done to the Press and WPCU facilities. At the same time the Main Stand was improved and enlarged to seat more spectators.

In 1986 four pylons with powerful lights were erected and night cricket had arrived at Newlands with a full house for a Transvaal vs Western Province encounter.

The return of South Africa to the international arena meant that the capacity and standards of the facilities at Newlands were totally inadequate to meet modern demands, and so began the redevelopment of the ground in 1991. Between then and today, Newlands has been totally revamped. Apart from some chalets on the Railway side of the ground which are due for demolition in a few year's time, nothing at all remains of Newlands as it was ten years ago.

The last phase of the development, completed shortly before the Test against India in January 1997, saw the erection of an uncovered 2 600-seater Railway Stand to replace the old wooden benches of the Planes and Willows enclosures.

Whilst many people feel that the construction of new stands has detracted from the beauty of the stadium, Newlands is undoubtedly still one of the most picturesque places in the world to watch cricket.

The ground is at present undergoing further transformation in preparation of the World Cup in 2003.

The third World Cup city and venue guide will appear next week, featuring Centurion.