Mon. May 25th, 2020

Newlands bumps up security for Warner and Smith return

Newlands will increase security for the visit of Australia on Wednesday 26 February when the T20I series against the Proteas concludes.

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David Warner and Steve Smith will return to the ‘scene of the crime’ for the first time since they copped lengthy bans for their involvement in a ball-tampering incident at Newlands.

The backdrop to those events was an ill-tempered Test series between the two nations that saw multiple sanctions slapped on both sides, but the T20I series has thus far been competitive but good-spirited.

Played in good spirit

Despite a distinct lack of venom from South African cricket fans so far Newlands has bumped up security in a bid to avoid any incidents. Warner was involved in an angry altercation with a fan shortly before the ball-tampering incident unfolded in the 2018 Test at the venue.

Warner has been impressed by the behaviour of South African fans who have not abused the opening batsman or engaged in any disrespectful banter.

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Extra security at Newlands: David Warner of Australia during the 1st KFC T20 International match between South Africa and Australia at Imperial Wanderers Stadium on February 21, 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)

“We’ve been pretty much overwhelmed by the support we’ve had from the fans,” Warner said.

“Port Elizabeth was outstanding. They were very respectful. I didn’t cop anything (fielding) on the fence. The kids were yelling out for autographs and we obliged. It was a great atmosphere.

“Being back in Cape Town, it is one of the most picturesque grounds in the world, the ground’s always in good condition, we’ve had success here as a team and me as an individual. I’m chomping at the bit to go out there and share it with the rest of the guys,” said Warner.

Australia have enjoyed a great deal of success at Newlands in T20Is winning five of the six matches they have played at the venue. Their only loss came in the very first T20I played at the ground during the 2007 T20 World Cup when they were stunned by Zimbabwe.

The Proteas have never beaten Australia in T20 cricket at the venue, but they have only played twice at the ground.

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Extra security at Newlands just a precaution

Newlands stadium manager Clifford Dodgen said they were not expecting trouble but are operating under the maxim ‘it is better to be safe than sorry’.

“We’ve got maximum security, with over 200 private security personnel as well as police and metro police,” said Dodgen.

“We will have plain clothes people in the crowd and if there is any serious misbehaviour the people responsible will be asked to leave the ground.”

Newlands will exercise a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to verbal abuse of players from either side.

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