EL all set to host Bangladesh and Proteas in rare international One-Day International thriller

A bumper crowd will be expected to pour into Buffalo Park next week Sunday when the Proteas take on Bangladesh in the third One Day International match of the Bangladesh tour.

WARRIORS: South African cricket stars AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien and JP Duminy pictured during the last Proteas match played at Buffalo Park, against the West Indies in 2015.The Proteas take on Bangladesh in a one-day international next week Sunday in East London Picture: GALLO IMAGES

This after a cracking weekend of international cricket was played out at the ground between the Netherlands and Kenya this past Friday and Sunday.

It was a sparse crowd that unfortunately turned out to witness the enjoyable action but that is all set to change when the Proteas make their eagerly anticipated return to East London since they last played here against the West Indies in January 2015.

On that occasion the fans were treated to a dominant display from the hosts who easily rolled the West Indies over for a thumping nine wicket win, and this time around the fans will be hoping for a bit more of a challenge.

“This is the big one. They don’t come often so we are very excited to be hosting a Proteas match again,” said Border CEO Thando Booi.

“We know that the East London public is going to show massive support and come out in their numbers for the game, and it is going to be a fantastic atmosphere.

“We are ready to host the match now, but by the end of this week any loose ends that we have will be completely tied up and, once again, it is an opportunity for us to showcase exactly what East London cricket is all about.”

This past weekend saw an entertaining spectacle, with two hard fought games, with the Netherlands emerging victorious by six wickets on Friday, while in Sunday’s second match Kenya responded to edge a thrilling encounter by two wickets.

“It was two fine games. We had two good teams playing against each other and neither match was a walkover,” said Booi.

“It was good to see Kenya as the hosts win the second match after losing the first. I am sure they were disappointed to not be able to play in Kenya so we did our best to make them feel at home, and they managed to get a very important win.

“Hosting these matches without any problems is a clear indication of how capable we are of hosting an international event at very short notice.”

This will hopefully be a sign of exciting things to come at Buffalo Park, with more major internationals on the cards in the near future for the often international cricket-starved city.

“I think the things that have happened from a CSA level and discussions that we are having are very positive,” said Booi.

“It has been confirmed that we will be hosting the Proteas women against England in February next year, and that is another positive for us which is what we need. We need more international matches.

“We are disappointed that we won’t be hosting any warm-up games from the India and England tours, but we are happy with the turn of events and where we are going.”

The Proteas take on Bangladesh in the first one-day at the Diamond Oval in Kimberly this coming Sunday, with the second at Boland Park next week Wednesday.

Tickets for the third one-day match can be found online at www.ticketpros.co.za and cost between R80 and R200.

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