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

Centurion
[ city and venue guide ]

Hosted Countries:

  • New Zealand

Matches:

  • Australia v India
  • West Indies v Canada
  • Pakistan v India
  • Two Super Six

Ground:

  • SuperSport Park

Demographics:

  • 2,000 meters above sea level
  • Population of 150,000
  • Most speak English

Climate:

Centurion lies within the typical summer rainfall area. Annual rainfall measures 696mm, with November, December and January the months with the highest precipitation. The average maximum temperature is around 27 C, with a summer minimum of approximately 14 C.

General:

Centurion is strategically situated between Johannesburg and Pretoria and its main access routes link it to every important centre in Gauteng. The main railway line also runs through the heart of Centurion, thereby confirming Centurion's role as the urban anchor of Gauteng.

Centurion has a variety of tourist attractions, including the Irene Camp Cemetery, the popular Smuts House Museum and the Air Force Memorial. The SuperSport Centurion cricket stadium is a South African landmark, regularly hosting international matches, whilst Centurion Shopping Centre, Centurion Boulevard and the City Lake offer a wide variety of shops and restaurants. Various guest houses cater for the discerning overnight visitor's needs, in addition to the local hotels.

Entertainment:

  • Restaurants and nightclubs
  • Cinemas
  • Golfing
  • Organized touring operators
  • Pretoria
  • Johannesburg
  • Kruger National Park
  • Sun City

Centurion is also 40 minutes from Johannesburg (Wanderers) and Benoni (Willowmoore Park). Johannesburg International airport is in easy access of the city and links with regular flights to all the major venues of the World Cup.

SuperSport Park:

  • Constructed: 1986
  • 1st First Class Match: Northern Transvaal vs Transvaal, December 1986
  • 1st Test Match: ENG vs RSA, November 1995
  • Capacity at the ground is around 20 000 including suites.




Centurion



One of the newer stadiums in South Africa, the eighth to become a South African test venue, took over from Berea Park in 1986 as the home of Northern Transvaal (renamed Northerns in 1997) cricket. It is situated in the town of Centurion (previously known as Verwoerdburg), just south of Pretoria.

The stadiums appeal is the grass embankments which make up a large part of the seating area, ideal for good family cricket watching. The atmosphere is often very good. Beach Cabana type hospitality chalets have been erected high on the grass banks for added corporate viewing pleasure.

The ground was named Centurion Park after a competition was launched in 1986 by the Verwoerdburg town council to find a name for the stadium. It was renamed to SuperSport Park after the Television company bought shares in the stadium.

Capacity at the ground is around 20 000, including 67 corporate suites housed in the Main Pavilion at the Northern end of the ground. The rest of the ground features vast grass embankments. The ground is floodlit and features a fully electronic scoreboard, constructed in 1995.

When the Indian cricket team visited South Africa in 1992, Kapil Dev rated Centurion Park as one of the top 10 cricket grounds in the world, and was full of praise for the stadium's facilities, stating that the net practice facilities, as well as the dressing rooms, were among the best in the world. "Normally you can find fault with one or the other, but in this case, there's nothing to complain about," he said. "Players are fortunate to have such facilities as these." He added that the general setting at Centurion Park gave it an added attractiveness which surpassed other grounds. Mohammad Azharuddin agreed that it was one of the most scenically attractive facilities that he had seen.

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