Audio/Video
Shopping
Mobile
Betting
bet365
Fantasy
Instant Win
Reviews
Travel

CricInfo Travel

-> back to CricInfo homepage  
-> back to Travel homepage  
-> Email a friend  



Official England Supporters Tours


[an error occurred while processing this directive]
CricInfo Travel Navigation




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

Johannesburg
[ city and venue guide ]

Hosted Countries:

  • Pakistan and Canada

Matches:

  • Australia v Pakistan
  • South Africa v New Zealand
  • Kenya v Bangladesh
  • One Super Six
  • 2003 World Cup Final

Ground:

  • The Wanderers Stadium

Demographics:

  • 2,000 meters above seas level
  • 116 years old
  • Population of 1 million
  • 2,300 square kilometers
  • Most speak English

Climate:

Johannesburg has a delightfully mild climate, neither humid nor too hot for comfort. Summer, offering warm African sunshine followed by pleasant nights, runs from October to March. South Africans are, on the whole, pretty casual dressers and you can comfortably follow suit at most places. 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. Lightweight material is preferable as the sun can consistently raise temperatures above 30 Celsius (86 Fahrenheit).

General:

Johannesburg is where the action is. It is an African city that works: the phones dial, the lights switch on, you can drink the water, there are multi-lane freeways, skyscrapers, conference centers, golf courses and many other sporting facilities. If you should get lost, ordinary people on the street speak English. Almost everyone has a cell phone. You can send e-mail from your hotel room, you can bank any foreign currency, and should you fall ill, the hospitals have world-class equipment and doctors who can be trusted with a scalpel. A rule of thumb for visitors from Europe and the United States is that most things will cost you about half what you would have paid for them at home.

Visitors are often surprised by how attractive parts of Johannesburg can be. The older suburbs, for example, are sited in rolling hills and have tree-lined streets, nature reserves, hiking trails and parks. Indeed, there are said to be more trees in Johannesburg than in any other city in the world, making it the world's largest "artificial jungle".

In truth it's the south that's attractive. The north, particularly Sandton, which is where most tourists congregate, has a bland new-city feel to it, flat, crammed with glitzy shopping malls and with hardly a building older than about 30 years.

Entertainment:

  • Numerous Restaurants and nightclubs
  • Cinemas, theaters, and art galleries
  • Craft markets, Museums, zoo, and lion park
  • Golf, Horse Riding, Ballooning, Trout Fishing
  • Organized touring operators
  • City
  • Kruger National Park
  • Sun and Lost City

Johannesburg is also 30 minutes from Benoni (Willowmoore Park), 40 minutes from Centurion (SuperSport Park), and 90 minutes from Potchefstroom (North West Stadium). Johannesburg International airport is in easy access of the city and links with regular flights to all the major venues of the World Cup.

The Wanderers Cricket Stadium:

  • Constructed: 1955
  • 1st First Class Match: Transvaal vs Natal , 16 November 1956
  • 1st Touring Team: MCC vs Transvaal, 30 November 1956
  • 1st Test Match: MCC vs RSA, 24 Decmeber 1956
  • 1st Hat-trick: Brian Statham, 1st December 1956
  • Best Bowling: Hugh Tayfield, 9/113, RSA Vs ENG, 1956/57
  • 41st Ground to be used as a Test venue
  • Used for a rugby international, RSA vs ARG in 1980.
  • Capacity at the ground is around 30 000 including suites.

The Wanderers Cricket Stadium which seems to generate one of the best cricketing and spectator atmospheres in South Africa is the third ground to be used for Test matches in Johannesburg. The other two were the old Wanderers (now the Johannesburg Railway Station) and the Ellis Park Rugby Stadium.

In 1991, construction began on the Centenary Pavilion, at the north end behind the wickets, or Golf-Course, end of the ground. This stand was completed in November 1991.

In April 1992, work began on the imposing 4 storey Unity Pavilion, on the south end behind the wickets, or Corlett Drive, end of the ground. This pavilion houses the Long Room as well as the Media Centre.

The TrustBank Memorial Stand, on the North-West side of the ground, was completed in October 1994 and houses the TrustBank indoor nets. Today it is simply known as the Memorial Stand.

1995 saw work done on The Western Pavilion, which was refurbished to give it a look in line with the rest of the ground, and the Main Gate was rebuilt, now incorporating fully electronic turnstiles to give an accurate assessment of attendances. This pavilion includes the players change-rooms and is fronted by public grass embankments.

The Kent Park Taverners Stand, on the South East side of the stadium (between the Unity Pavilion and the Open Stand, East side), was pulled down and replaced by a new stand which houses the Taverners, public seating for about 1200 people, and features 12 new corporate suites.

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

All the stands, except for the grass embankments and the Open Stand, are covered or partially covered. Numerous catering outlets are situated behind the Western Pavilion, with barbecue (braai) facilities behind the Memorial Stand.

Five 65-metre high floodlight masts illuminate 10 pitches and the playing surface making it ideal for night cricket. Due to the dew factor between February and March no day-night matches will be played during the World Cup.

The second World Cup city and venue guide will appear next week, featuring site of the opening ceremony, Cape Town.