Unlike in India, cricket is not a religion in South Africa. In fact, rugby and football have a lot more fan following and support in the Rainbow Nation. But in a first for cricket, the South Africa National Defence Force will be entertaining the fans at the SuperSport Park in Centurion with a performance from its troops.
Fifty officials from the South African army and navy will march into the ground on Saturday before the start of play with a music band marching them in. After this, the two national anthems will be played before paratroopers come down on to the ground from jets.
After this, there will be a 21-gun salute from the G5 and after this; the army and navy officials will once again be marched out by the band.
Army and Navy practice at the SuperSport Park as they will perform ahead of the game on Saturday | Reports @bbhose from Cape Townhttps://t.co/flIeV6fFmH#SAvInd #IndvSA #FreedomSeries pic.twitter.com/8Zq9rQy0ry— cricketnext (@cricketnext) January 11, 2018
Speaking to CricketNext, one of the army officials said that it was indeed a big moment for the gentleman's game in the country because such an honour has been given only to the rugby team and that too long back.
"Not that I can remember any cricket match having the army and navy match in and perform their skills. Clearly cricket is gaining in popularity and that is a good sign. Kids should be encouraged to play all sorts of sports and this bears testimony to that," he said.
The second Test of the three-match series will be played at SuperSport Park in Centurion, starting Saturday. The visitors lost the first match of the series comprehensively by 72 runs and Virat Kohli and his troops will hope to make amends and bounce back in style in the second Test.