Home > cricket > the new years test in cape town

the new years test in cape town


in south africa there is a cricketing tradition of every year playing test matches on boxing day and on the 2nd of january. the one on boxing day is played in port elizabeth and the one on the 2nd of january is played in cape town, my old home town.

i love the tradition of these test matches and always look forward to them. there’s something quite special about sporting traditions and i love the feeling of partaking in it every year.

the cape town test is particularly special for me – partly because its played in my home town and partly because the ground where it is played – newlands – is one of the most beautiful cricket grounds in the world.

newlands is nestled into the side of table mountain, and has devil’s peak (on the right of the photo) peering over it as well. its also fairly near the sea, and even though you can’t hear or smell the sea, just knowing its there is nice. the field and the stadium itself also seem beautiful to me – i don’t know how beautiful it would be without that mountain there, but the stadium and field are still a beautiful for me. i’ll never forget the first time i went there… as i came up out of the stairs my heart just lifted when i saw that field and the stadium!

the atmosphere at newlands is also very cool. each cricket ground has its own atmosphere. some are vibrant and some are churchlike, some are loud and some are soporific. newlands is just chill… very chill. you can just relax there. a number of people who go there don’t even watch the game, they just go there to chill and chat to friends. its also a ground that appreciates its cricket and isn’t overly nationalistic. you can applaud a good shot by a batsman from the opposing team and often the whole ground will be joining you. they just want to see good cricket and good sportsmanship.

luckily, its also been a very good ground, in terms of results, for us. since 1961 we have only lost to australia there. we really need that record now as we are 1-0 down in a three match series against the west indies.

and while we’re talking cricket, i thought i’d let you know how my man jacques kallis is doing – whose home ground, as it happens, is newlands! in the first match he got 0 and 85, and today he was looking really good but went out early, only getting 36. theres still one more innings left for us, so he has another chance of getting a good score. it’ll be hard, though, because south africa will be batting last on the pitch and by then it’ll be very worn and hard to play on. still, we’ll probably need him to do well in order to win the game, so here’s hoping jk has a good one!

Categories: cricket
  1. January 3, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    I wouldn’t go for the cricket but I’d go for the view.

  2. January 3, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    It cracks me up to see a New Year’s post with a picture of guys sitting around with no shirts on when we’ve had ice and snow and bitter cold temps here. Although it is supposed to be sunny and 65 degrees this weekend. That will be nice…and weird at the same time. I know I’ll be out taking down Chrismtas decorations for sure!

  3. jean pierre
    January 3, 2008 at 8:11 pm


    you wouldn’t be the only one 😉 and isn’t that just gorgeous view?! oh, my heart aches…


    yeah, it is weird. i’m slowly getting used to it being cold at this time of year, but whenever these cricket matches start then i just feel its all wrong that its so cold…!!!

    but i can imagine it must seem weird to you.

    speaking of christmas decorations, ours are going down now too… charlotte’s already taken down half of them tonight…

  4. January 4, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    I completely agree with Elizabeth! What a beautiful view.

    Happy New Year, Jean Pierre!

  5. January 5, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    Ditto to Elizabeth and Nymeth! Could a view be more gorgeous?!!

    And by the way, I hate to sound so ignorant, but what’s a test match?

  6. jean pierre
    January 5, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    oh, what a lovely view indeed… 🙂 i love newlands. i love table mountain! 🙂


    thank you! and happy new year to you too 🙂


    thats not ignorant at all… after all, very few countries actually play cricket… 😉

    a test match is a form of cricket match. there are two basic kinds, and they are both defined by length.

    a “one day international” takes place over one day and a test match has a duration of 5 days.

    the test match is the original form of the cricket match.

  7. January 7, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    Cricket, I just don’t get. But it’s a beautiful view, that’s for sure!! Man. I live in the “Great Plains”, which is just fancy talk for completely flat and boring land!!

    Happy New Year, JP!!

  8. jean pierre
    February 13, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    thanks steph!

    and i’m glad you like the view too… i love that mountain…!

    surely they call the plains “great” for a reason… ?

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