Club News

7 July 1999

Jacques Kallis will be arriving in South Wales at the weekend, and club officials hope that he will be able to make his debut on July 14th against Lancashire at Blackpool. However, he will be unable to bowl for a month, and will play initially as a specialist batsman.

Glamorgan could hear by the end of the month that they will host another one-day international at Sophia Gardens next season. The successful staging of the Australia - New Zealand World Cup tie back in May, plus plans to expand the number of one day internationals from 2000, has led to the Cardiff ground being seriously considered by the ECB, possibly for a match next year between England and Zimbabwe.

"There is still a lot of work to be done on the ground, "said Secretary Mike Fatkin. "We have established a feasibility study to look at ways of increasing capacity, but we have improved the venue dramatically and are confident that we could stage an England match. We are pleased to be in the frame for next year because it`s important to us as a county that we as Glamorgan transformed Sophia Gardens in the space of a couple of years to land a plum World Cup match."

A key consideration will be raising the ground capacity from 6,600, as in the World Cup match, to over 10,000. Mike Fatkin is confident that this can be easily achieved - "There is enough room on the ground to take the capacity over the five figure mark. But we are not saying that we can put an event like this on without any help. We have to find out what concerns people have and sit down with the England and Wales Cricket Board to see what needs to be done."

Hugh Morris, the former Glamorgan batsman, was back at Cardiff earlier this week in the role of an opener - this time at the official ceremony on Monday to open the Glamorgan National Cricket Centre. The 4.4 million pound centre of excellence comprises a seven lane indoor school and year-round facilities that will benefit the next generation of Welsh cricketers.

Morris, now the Technical Director of the ECB, was highly impressed by the new complex. "It`s absolutely essential that we have this type of facility on a county basis. This is a fantastic project that not just Glamorgan, but the whole of Wales, can be proud of. What we need to do now is to get the best coaches to work with the most talented players. But it`s also important that grass nets are available for players to practice on in the summer, and I`m deligted to see the quality of the new outdoor nets at Glamorgan."

Glamorgan captain Matthew Maynard was also full of praise for the new facilities. "We have been fortunate in the past that we have had good coaches in Wales, but we haven`t had the facilities to go with them.This will put an end to that. "

Gareth Davies, chairman of the Sports Council of Wales, which helped to fund the Centre through the Sportlot programme, believes that the complex will be a trend-setter for Welsh sport - "It is very much a centre of excellence and something that other sports are trying to establish. It is not something that Glamorgan alone will benefit from. It is a facility for every child in Wales interested in playing cricket."