Kingsmead Cricket Ground
Panoramic view of the Kingsmead
|Location||Durban, South Africa|
Old Fort End
|First Test||18–22 January 1923: South Africa v England|
|Last Test||19–23 August 2016: South Africa v New Zealand|
|First ODI||17 December 1992: South Africa v India|
|Last ODI||5 October 2016: South Africa v Australia|
|First T20I||12 September 2007: Kenya v New Zealand|
|Last T20I||4 March 2016: South Africa v Australia|
|As of 6 October 2016
Kingsmead is a cricket ground in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It operates under the sponsorship-based name of Sahara Stadium Kingsmead where Sahara is the trademark of a sponsor from the IT industry. Its stated capacity is 25,000, although grass terracing makes up part of the viewing area. The 'end names' are the Umgeni End (north) and the Old Fort Road End (south). It is the home ground of the KwaZulu-Natal Dolphins.
The venue hosted the first home Test for the South African cricket team after re-admission into international cricket and also hosted the Test against the English cricket team in 1939, which lasted from the third to the thirteenth of March and was called off over fears that the English would miss their ship home.
It has been renowned as a seamers wicket, and there is also a famous myth regarding how the tide affects batting conditions, as the ground is quite close to the beach. Many batting collapses in matches in the past have jokingly been blamed on changes in the tide.
Kingsmead's easterly location – but within the same timezone as the rest of South Africa – means it is prone to bad light and the humid climate can result in powerful thunderstorms. The ground incorporates traditional grass banks, as well as towering modern stands. Being in the centre of Durban makes it accessible by public transport, or on foot, but parking is limited.
The stadium is used every other year for the finish of the Comrades Marathon, an ultramarathon run annually between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. Because the marathon alternates directions each year, it only finishes in Durban in odd-numbered years.