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A hotly contested cricket match in Soweto showed Joburg’s support for the national squad. Big screen TVs will also be put up in parks to broadcast the World Cup games.
ON A day when the Proteas took to the field for their first ICC World Cup match against the West Indies in India, a crucial tournament was taking place in Soweto.

 

Pupils enjoy a game of cricket Youngsters enjoy a game of cricket under the watchful eye of an instructorLearners from local primary schools took part in a mini cricket competition on Thursday, 24 February at Orlando West Park to show their support for the national team.
 

The event was hosted by Johannesburg City Parks, along with KFC, Township TV and Cricket South Africa.

Youngsters were all smiles as they padded up and marched to the crease, bat in hand. “Hit like Jacques Kallis,” said one, giving advice to his team mate.

“The main aim is to present cricket in the simplest way,” said Cricket South Africa’s co-ordinator of youth programmes, David Mokopanele.

It soon became clear that the rules were there to be broken, with the emphasis on fun.

Mokopanele said the Gauteng Cricket Board would be running cricket tournaments throughout the year, “but for now the focus is on mobilising the people behind the national team”.

The Proteas won their opening match against the West Indies on 24 February, with captain Graeme Smith setting up a seven wickets victory.

“We must rally behind our boys, as they will be eliminating one team at a time,” said a confident Mokopanele.

To encourage Joburg residents to get behind the team, large screens will be set up in several city parks for the duration of the World Cup. Fans are encouraged to visit these parks to support the Proteas.

 

Passionate about cricketPassionate about cricket: a little girl prepares to 'hit like Jacques Kallis'City Parks’ spokesperson, Jenny Moodley, said the screens would be erected at Diepsloot, Lenasia, Orange Farm, Ivory Park, Joubert Park, Thokoza, Eldorado and Orlando West. These are in addition to the more than 20 permanent Township TV screens in several of Joburg’s parks.
 

“The idea behind installing these big screens is to get people going to parks again,” Moodley said. “The community must start going out to enjoy these public spaces because they are meant for them.”

Graeme Joffe, a co-founders of Township TV, said: “We are all about development, and having these kinds of facilities will definitely go a long way for the community.”

 

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Township TV in partnership with Cricket SA, will be showing all the Proteas World Cup games live:

Thurs 3 March – vs Netherlands (10am – 2pm)
Sun 6 March – vs England (8.30 – 2pm)
Sat 12 March – vs India (10am – 7pm)