Cricket ground to host Portugal warm-up

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's cricketing cathedral the Wanderers will host Portugal's final World Cup warm-up against former colony Mozambique next week.

The oval venue in Johannesburg, used to the thud of willow on leather, has been pressed into service as all World Cup venues are closed ahead of next week's tournament start and other stadiums in the area are unavailable.

The match on Tuesday is the first Portugal, who have a long-standing local immigrant community estimated at 500,000 people, will play in South Africa.

Organisers said all tickets were sold within 12 hours. The game will have a capacity of 28,000.

Alan Kourie, chief executive officer of the stadium and a former test cricketer, said the Wanderers was keen to host more football matches in the future.

"We are going to see what other opportunities arise," he told Reuters.

Scottish clubs Rangers and Aberdeen played pre-season matches at the stadium in 2006. It was also used for rugby in the 1980s when nearby Ellis Park underwent a renovation.

The Wanderers hosted the final of the 2003 Cricket World Cup and the 2007 World Twenty20 final.

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