Best view in the house at Newlands is from the President’s Pavilion

Newlands Cricket Ground

Gasant Abarder is right about many things in his article. For me, the unspoken truth about culinary delight in Cape Town is the Sunday morning warm koesister from the muslim tietie down the road (or from Bibi’s in Wynberg after church).

And John Maytham on a weekday afternoon is a definite (so far,  every time I’ve entered ‘Rapid Fire’, I’ve won. I’m next eligible in early February, and I hope to keep the streak alive!)

But I have a different take on the best view in the house at Newlands.

See, my dad introduced me to Newlands. It was a Wednesday evening, and it was a Benson and Hedges day/night game against Transvaal in 1989. We sat in the Snake Pit, which was on the Wynberg end of the chalets that Gasant talks about. I remember getting sprayed with beer that was thrown in the air when the wave came around (a Newlands idiosyncrasy that I miss, actually!). It was such an amazing night, I still have fond memories of it, 29 years later.

Later, my grandfather became a martial under the president’s pavilion on the new stand, and we got tickets very close to the sightscreen. And that spot became my favourite place. The judgement on lbw shouts (before DRS) from the Wynberg end made all of us who sat there more that armchair umpires, and the atmosphere was heightened in tight games, especially those with binoculars who eyed the old scoreboard (way before it was replaced for the 2003 World Cup).

These days, with the huge LED screen, the concession stands nearby, the popularity of T20 cricket and the growing knowledge of the public, my favourite place feels more like home with every game.

I can’t wait for the ODI on 7 February! It’s going to be EPIC!