Construction on the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium in South Africa commenced back in 1955. It was used for a 1st class match in 1956 when Natal and Transvaal played there on the 16th, 17th and 19th of November. The next match was that of Peter May’s MCC side who played a match on the 30th of November 1956 against Transvaal, and the very next morning the first hat-trick was that of Brian Statham, his victim, Gerald Ritchie, the same one who later became the Gauteng Cricket Board chairman.
Bidvest Wanderers First Test Match
The Bidvest Wanderers Stadium was used for the first test match on the 24th of December 1956, which made it the 41st to be used in test cricket. In the period 1956 to 1957, it was Hugh Tayfield that took 9/113 in the first innings of the England and South Africa 4th test, making this the best bowling performance for a South African, this record is still unbroken.
South Africa Return to International Cricket
It was only in 1991 that South Africa finally returned to International Cricket and by then the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium had undergone quite a few major changes. In total, the amount spent on the changes and upgrades of the stadium total well over R60 million, and the Centenary Pavilion on the end of Corlett Drive was completed in 1992. More upgrades were followed with the imposing of the Unity Pavilion and the new stadium officially opened on the 26th of November.
The occasion was also the celebration of the first test match to be played on the stadium in 22 years. In October 1994 the Memorial Pavilion Stand to the north-west of the ground was completed which also includes the indoor practice nets. More completions followed in 1995 when the Western Pavilion was refurbished, and the main gate rebuilt. The first day/night overs took place at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on the 31st of January 1997.
Bidvest Wanderers Stadium – Premier Cricketing Stadium of Southern Africa
The Bidvest Wanderers Stadium is not only the premier cricketing stadium of South Africa but also a well-recognised world-class facility and have hosted numerous international cricket events including the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup Final as well as the ICC World T20 final, and it hosted the IPL Final and in the ICC Champions it was one of the two venues. Nowadays the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium is also known and referred to as the Bullring.
The capacity of the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium is 27,000, and that includes the 182 suites offered for seasonal hire. The stadium is also often used for major international events and hosted South Africa vs India, Australia, Sri Lanka, England, and Pakistan. The Bidvest Wanderers Stadium is where formed American President Barack Obama addressed the nation during the 16th Nelson Mandela Lecture. Due to the popularity of the stadium, it is continuously upgraded to host international matches and welcomes teams from across the globe for day/night series.