History of the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium
Construction on the current stadium commenced in 1955 with the first 1st-class match played between Transvaal and Natal on 16, 17 and 19 November 1956.
On 30 November 1956, Peter May's MCC side played a match against Transvaal, and on the second morning Brian Statham took the first hat-trick on the ground, his first victim being Gerald Ritchie, who later became the Chairman of Gauteng Cricket Board.
The first Test match at the Bidvest Wanderers was played on the 24th of December 1956, making it the 41st ground to be used for Test cricket. In 1956/57, Hugh Tayfield took 9/113 in the first innings of the 4th Test between South Africa and England – making it the best Test bowling performance ever by a South African, a record that has remained unbroken so far.
Since South Africa's return to International cricket in 1991, the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium has undergone major changes. The total amount spent to date on upgrading the stadium is in excess of R60-million. In 1991 the Centenary Pavilion, at the Golf-Course end of the ground was completed. Then in 1992 the imposing Unity Pavilion, on the Corlett Drive end of the ground was added to the stadium and was officially opened on 26 November by Sir Colin Cowdrey, on the occasion of the first Test match at the ground in 22 years.
The Memorial Pavilion Stand, on the north-west side of the ground, was completed in October 1994 and houses the indoor practice nets. 1995 saw work done on The Western Pavilion, which was refurbished to give it a look in line with the rest of the ground, and the Main Gate was rebuilt; now incorporating fully electronic turnstiles to give an accurate assessment of attendances. In 1996, the existing four 30-metre high floodlight masts were replaced by five new masts, each 65-metres high, enabling The Bidvest Wanderers Stadium to see its first day/night limited-overs international (against Zimbabwe on 31 January 1997). A very popular addition to the cricket season was the introduction of night cricket. The Bidvest Wanderers Stadium is one of the best stadiums in world cricket for such events.
The Bidvest Wanderers Stadium now has a number of important facilities, including a new electronic scoreboard, high quality PA system, integrated CCTV, top class broadcast centre and an efficient ticketing system.
In addition, the Bidvest Wanderers is a favourite venue to rent for private functions; with various rooms available to suit every need, it provides the perfect space for corporate and private functions. To rent out the Bidvest Wanderers, visit our Venue Rental page.