In cricket, the term wicket has several meanings. Firstly, it is one of two bails at either end of the pitch; the wicket is guarded by a batsman who, with his bat, attempts to prevent the ball from hitting the wicket. Secondly, through metonymic usage, the dismissal of a batsman is known as the taking of a wicket, thirdly, the cricket pitch itself is sometimes called the wicket; the origin of the word is from a small gate. Cricket wickets had only two stumps and one bail and looked like a gate; the third stump was introduced in 1775. The size and shape of the wicket has changed several times during the last 300 years and its dimensions and placing is now determined by Law 8 in the Laws of Cricket, thus: Law 8: The wickets; the wicket consists of three wooden stumps. The stumps are placed along the batting crease with equal distances between each stump, they are positioned. Two wooden bails are placed in shallow grooves on top of the stumps; the bails must not project more than 0.5 inches above the stumps, must, for men's cricket, be 4.31 inches long.
There are specified lengths for the barrel and spigots of the bail. There are different specifications for the bails for junior cricket; the umpires may dispense with the bails. Further details on the specifications of the wickets are contained in Appendix D to the laws. For a batsman to be dismissed by being bowled, run out, stumped or hit wicket, his wicket needs to be put down. What this means is defined by Law 29. A wicket is put down if a bail is removed from the top of the stumps, or a stump is struck out of the grounds by the ball, the striker's bat, the striker's person, a fielder. A 2010 amendment to the Laws clarified the rare circumstance where a bat breaks during the course of a shot and the detached debris breaks the wicket; the wicket is put down if a fielder pulls a stump out of the ground in the same manner. If one bail is off, removing the remaining bail or striking or pulling any of the three stumps out of the ground is sufficient to put the wicket down. A fielder may remake the wicket, if necessary, in order to put it down to have an opportunity of running out a batsman.
If however both bails are off, a fielder must remove one of the three stumps out of the ground with the ball, or pull it out of the ground with a hand or arm, provided that the ball is held in the hand or hands so used, or in the hand of the arm so used. If the umpires have agreed to dispense with bails, for example, it is too windy for the bails to remain on the stumps, the decision as to whether the wicket has been put down is one for the umpire concerned to decide. After a decision to play without bails, the wicket has been put down if the umpire concerned is satisfied that the wicket has been struck by the ball, by the striker's bat, person, or items of his clothing or equipment separated from his person as described above, or by a fielder with the hand holding the ball or with the arm of the hand holding the ball; the dismissal of a batsman is known as the taking of a wicket. The batsman is said to have lost his wicket, the batting side is said to have lost a wicket, the fielding side to have taken a wicket, the bowler is said to have taken his wicket, if the dismissal is one of the types for which the bowler receives credit.
This language is used if the dismissal did not involve the stumps and bails in any way, for example, a catch. Though note that the other four of the five most common methods of dismissal do involve the stumps and bails being put down, or prevented from being put down by the batsman; the word wicket has this meaning in the following contexts: A team's score is described in terms of the total number of runs scored and the total number of wickets lost. The number of wickets taken is a primary measure of a individual bowler's ability, a key part of a bowling analysis; the sequence of time over which two particular batsmen bat together, a partnership, is referred to as a numbered wicket when discriminating it from other partnerships in the innings. The first wicket partnership is from the start of the innings until the team loses its first wicket, i.e. one of the first two batsmen is dismissed. The second wicket partnership is from when the third batsman starts batting until the team loses its second wicket, i.e. a second batsman is dismissed.
Etc... The tenth wicket or last wicket partnership is from when the eleventh batsman starts batting until the team loses its tenth wicket, i.e. a tenth batsman is dismissed. A team can win a match by a certain number of wickets; this means that they were batting last, reached the winning target with a certain number of batsmen still not dismissed. For example, if the side scored the required number of runs to win with only three batsmen dismissed, they are said to have won by seven wickets; the word wicket is sometimes used to refer to the cricket pitch itself. According to the Laws of Cricket, this usage is incorrect, but it is in common usage and understood by cricket followers; the term sticky wicket refers to a situation in which the pitch has become damp due to rain or high humidity. This makes the path of the ball more unpredictable thus making the
Stumped is a method of dismissal in cricket. The action of stumping can only be performed by a wicket-keeper and, according to the Laws of Cricket, a batsman can be given out stumped if: the wicket-keeper puts down the wicket, while the batsman is: out of his ground. Being "out of his ground" is defined as not having any part of the batsman's body or his bat touching the ground behind the crease – i.e. if his bat is elevated from the floor despite being behind the crease, or if his foot is on the crease line itself but not across it and touching the ground behind it he would be considered out. One of the fielding team must appeal for the wicket by asking the umpire; the appeal is directed to the square-leg umpire, who would be in the best position to adjudicate on the appeal. Stumping is the fifth most common form of dismissal after caught, leg before wicket and run out, though it is seen more in Twenty20 cricket because of its more aggressive batting, it is governed by Law 39 of the Laws of Cricket.
It is seen with a medium or slow bowler, as with fast bowlers a wicket-keeper takes the ball too far back from the wicket to attempt a stumping. It includes co-operation between a bowler and wicket-keeper: the bowler draws the batsman out of his ground, the wicket-keeper catches and breaks the wicket before the batsman realises he has missed the ball and makes his ground, i.e. places the bat or part of his body on the ground back behind the popping crease. If the bails are removed before the wicket-keeper has the ball, the batsman can still be stumped if the wicket-keeper removes one of the stumps from the ground, while holding the ball in his hand; the bowler is credited for the batsman's wicket, the wicket-keeper is credited for the dismissal. A batsman may be out stumped off a wide delivery but cannot be stumped off a no-ball as bowler is credited for the wicket. Notes: The popping crease is defined as the back edge of the crease marking (i.e. the edge closer to the wicket. Therefore, a batsman whose bat or foot is on the crease marking, but does not touch the ground behind the crease marking, can be stumped.
This is quite common. The wicket must be properly put down in accordance with Law 28 of the Laws of cricket: using either the ball itself or a hand or arm, in possession of the ball. Note that since the ball itself can put down the wicket, a stumping is still valid if the ball rebounds from the'keeper and breaks the wicket though never controlled by him; the wicket-keeper must allow the ball to pass the stumps before taking it, unless it has touched either the batsman or his bat first. If the wicket-keeper fails to do this, the delivery is a "no-ball", the batsman cannot be stumped
A delivery or ball in cricket is a single action of bowling a cricket ball toward the batsman. During play of the game, a member of the fielding team is designated as the bowler, bowls deliveries toward the batsman. Six legal balls in a row constitutes an over, after which a different member of the fielding side takes over the role of bowler for the next over; the bowler delivers the ball from his or her end of the pitch toward the batsman standing at the opposite wicket at the other end of the pitch. Bowlers can be either right-handed; this approach to their delivery, in addition to their decision of bowling around the wicket or over the wicket, is knowledge of which the umpire and the batsman are to be made aware. Deliveries can be made by spin bowlers. Fast bowlers tend to make the ball either move off the pitch or move through the air, while spinners make the ball "turn" either toward a right-handed batsman or away from him; the ball can bounce at different distances from the batsman, this is called the length of the delivery.
It can range from a bouncer to a yorker. There are many different types of delivery; these deliveries vary by: technique, the hand the bowler bowls with, use of the fingers, use of the seam, how the ball is positioned in the hand, where the ball is pitched on the wicket, the speed of the ball, the tactical intent of the bowler. Leg spin deliveries and mirror equivalents for left arm unorthodox spin: Leg break Googly Topspinner Flipper Slider Flicker ball Off spin deliveries and mirror equivalents for left arm orthodox spin: Off break Doosra Arm ball Topspinner Carrom ball Teesra Fast bowling deliveries: Bouncer Inswinger Reverse swing Leg cutter Off cutter Outswinger Yorker Beamer Knuckleball Slower ball The variations in different types of delivery, as well as variations caused by directing the ball with differing line and length, are key weapons in a bowler's arsenal. Throughout an over, the bowler will choose a sequence of deliveries designed to attack the batsman's concentration and technique, in an effort to get him out.
The bowler varies the amount of loop and pace imparted to various deliveries to try to cause the batsman to misjudge and make a mistake. As the crease has a width, the bowler can change the angle from which he delivers to the batsman in an attempt to induce a misjudgement; the bowler decides what type of delivery to bowl next, without consultation or informing any other member of his team. Sometimes, the team captain will offer advice or issue a direct order regarding what deliveries to bowl, based on his observations of the batsman and the strategic state of the game. Another player who offers advice to the bowler is the wicket-keeper, since he has a unique view of the batsman and may be able to spot weaknesses of technique. Another piece of information important for the bowlers to consider prior to their deliveries is the state of pitch; the pitch is a natural ground and its state is subjected to variation over the course of the cricket, some of which are multi-day events such as test matches.
Spinners find an old pitch, one, used, more suitable to their deliveries rather than a fresh pitch, one that hasn't come under use as much such as a pitch at the start of the match. While a bowler, with the use of variations in his/her delivery aims to target the concentration of batsmen as well as their skill and technique of batting, anticipation of the delivery is crucial for the batsman, as emphasised by Jodi Richardson. Richardson reveals the world class batsman's dilemma while facing fast bowlers, stating that the time between the batsmen's anticipation of the trajectory of the ball and positioning themselves for the appropriate shot can be twice as long as the interval between the ball leaving the bowler's hand and reaching the batsman's crease. Side by side, Richardson alludes to the research undertaken by Dr. Sean Müller in Australia, funded by Cricket Australia's Centre of Excellence; the results of the research demonstrated the importance of anticipation of the delivery for batsmen in cricket.
They revealed that experienced batsmen possessed a unique ability which enabled them to adjust their feet as well as their positioning on the crease accordingly based upon their reading of the body language and movements enacted by the bowler prior to the release of the ball. This foresight that batsmen use while on the crease is referred to as'advance information' by Richardson. Moreover, Müller's research outlined that the presence of this'advance information' was not as evident among the lesser skilled batsmen in comparison to the experienced ones. Underarm or lob bowling was the original cricket delivery style,but had died out before the 20th century, although it was used until 1910 by George Simpson-Hayward, remained a legal delivery type. On 1 February 1981, when Australia was playing New Zealand in a One Day International cricket match, New Zealand needed six runs to tie the match from the final ball. Greg Chappell, the Australian captain, ordered the bowler to bowl underarm, rolling the ball along the ground to prevent the Number 10 New Zealand batsman any chance of hitting a six from the last ball to tie the match.
After the game, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Rob Muldoon, described it as "the most disgusting incident I can recall in the history of cricket." At the time, underarm deliveries were legal, but as a direct result of the incident, underarm bowling was banned in limi
South Africa national cricket team
The South African national cricket team, nicknamed the Proteas, is administered by Cricket South Africa. South Africa is a full member of the International Cricket Council with Test, One Day International and Twenty20 International status. South Africa entered first-class and international cricket at the same time when they hosted an England cricket team in the 1888–89 season. At first, the team was no match for Australia or England but, having gained in experience and expertise, they were able to field a competitive team in the first decade of the 20th century; the team played against Australia and New Zealand through to the 1960s, by which time there was considerable opposition to the country's apartheid policy and an international ban was imposed by the ICC, commensurate with actions taken by other global sporting bodies. When the ban was imposed, South Africa had developed to a point where its team including Eddie Barlow, Graeme Pollock and Mike Procter was arguably the best in the world and had just outplayed Australia.
The ban remained in place until 1991 and South Africa could play against India, Sri Lanka and the West Indies for the first time. The team since reinstatement has been strong and has at times held number one positions in international rankings but has lacked success in organised tournaments. Outstanding players since reinstatement have included Allan Donald, Makhaya Ntini, Shaun Pollock, Jacques Kallis, Graeme Smith, Kagiso Rabada, AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn, Faf du Plessis and Hashim Amla. European colonisation of southern Africa began on Tuesday, 6 April 1652 when the Dutch East India Company established a settlement called the Cape Colony on Table Bay, near present-day Cape Town, continued to expand into the hinterland through the 17th and 18th centuries, it was founded as a victualling station for the Dutch East Indies trade route but soon acquired an importance of its own due to its good farmland and mineral wealth. There was no significant British interest in South Africa until 1795, when British troops under General Sir James Henry Craig seized Cape Colony during the French Revolutionary War, the Netherlands having been occupied by French forces the same year.
After the British seized Cape Colony a second time in 1806 to counteract French interests in the region in the course of the Napoleonic Wars, Cape Colony was turned into a permanent British settlement. As in most other parts of the world, British colonisation brought in its wake the introduction of the game of cricket, which began to develop rapidly; the first recorded cricket match in South Africa took place in 1808, in Cape Town between two service teams for a prize of one thousand rix-dollars. The oldest cricket club in South Africa is the Port Elizabeth Cricket Club, founded in 1843. In 1862, an annual fixture "Mother Country v Colonial Born" was staged for the first time in Cape Town. By the late 1840s, the game had spread from its early roots in Cape Colony and permeated the Afrikaners in the territories of Orange Free State and Transvaal, who were descendants of the original Dutch settlers and were not considered a cricket-playing people. In 1876, Port Elizabeth presented the "Champion Bat" for competition between South African towns.
The first tournament was staged in Port Elizabeth. King William's Town won the tournament in 1877, too. In 1888, Sir Donald Currie sponsored the first English team to tour South Africa, it was managed by Major R. G. Warton and captained by future Hollywood actor C. Aubrey Smith; the tour marked the advent, retrospectively, of both Test cricket in South Africa. Currie donated the Currie Cup that became the trophy, first won by Transvaal in 1889–90, for a national championship of the provincial teams in South Africa. In 1889, South Africa became the third test-playing nation when it played against England at Port Elizabeth, captained by Owen Robert Dunnell. Soon after, a 2nd test was played at Cape Town. However, these two matches, as was the case with all early matches involving the erstwhile'South African XI' against all touring teams, did not receive the status of official'Test' matches until South Africa formed the Imperial Cricket Conference with England and Australia in 1906. Neither did the touring English team organised by Major Warton claim to be representing the English cricket team.
The players who participated did not know that they had played international cricket, the side that played South Africa was regarded to be of weak county strength. The team was captained by C. A. Smith, a decent medium pacer from Sussex, for two of the Major Warton's XI, Basil Grieve and The Honourable Charles Coventry, the two Tests constituted their entire first-class career. So, the nascent, fledgling'South African XI' was weak, losing both tests comfortably to England, English spinner Johnny Briggs claiming 15–28 in the second Test at Cape Town. However, Albert Rose-Innes did make history by becoming the first South African bowler to take a five-wicket haul in Tests at Port Elizabeth. South Africa's early Test record remains the worst among all current Test-playing nations with ten defeats and just a solitary draw from their first eleven tests, it was not until 1904 that they began to emerge as a quality international team, they recorded. The low point of this barren early period for the South African team was an English tour of 1895–96, where South Africa was humiliated 3–0 in 3 Tests by an English side for the first time remotely comparab
Clive Edward Butler Rice was a South African international cricketer. An all-rounder, Rice ended his First Class cricket career with a batting average of 40.95 and a bowling average of 22.49. He captained Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club from 1979 to 1987, his career coincided directly with South Africa's sporting isolation, his international experience was limited to his post-prime days. He played three One Day Internationals for South Africa following the country's return from sporting isolation, he was controversially left out of the squads for the one-off Test against West Indies and the 1992 Cricket World Cup. Despite this he is regarded as one of the best all-rounders of his generation, alongside Imran Khan, Ian Botham, Kapil Dev and his county team-mate Richard Hadlee. On 28 July 2015, Rice died in hospital at the age of 66. Rice was born to Patrick and Angela on 23 July 1949 in Johannesburg, Transvaal Province, Union of South Africa. Rice's grandfather Phillip Syndercombe Bower played cricket for Oxford University while his brother Richard was selected for Transvaal but was unable to play due to exams.
Rice worked for a street-lighting company called Envirolight in Johannesburg and his wife Susan heads a Sports Tour and Bush safari company. The couple have two children. Rice began his career with Transvaal in 1969 and was called up for South Africa's tour of Australia in 1971–72. In South African domestic cricket he led the 1980s Transvaal, known as the "Mean Machine", to three Castle Currie Cups and other one-day competition victories. Toward the end of his playing career, he captained Natal, he became the first cricketer to score 5000 runs and to take 500 wickets in List A cricket history Rice played for Nottinghamshire in the English County Championship in a side that featured internationals Richard Hadlee and Derek Randall. As captain, he led the side to the County Championship title in both 1981 and 1987, winning the prestigious award of being named a Wisden cricketer of the year for his exploits in 1981, he played for Scotland. Along with other South African players, excluded from international cricket by the sporting boycott of South Africa due to his country's policy of apartheid, Rice joined the controversial World Series Cricket setup.
During the 1980s, a number of rebel cricket teams visited South Africa to play unofficial "Test" matches. Rice captained the home side for the majority of these fixtures. Rice was able to make his debut in official international cricket in 1991, aged 42, he played in—and captained—South Africa's first One Day International, in a match against India at Eden Gardens, Calcutta. Rice finished with averages of 13 with the bat and 57 with the ball from his three One Day International matches. After retirement Rice worked as coach for Nottinghamshire and encouraged Kevin Pietersen to leave South Africa to qualify for England. In September 2010, Rice claimed in an interview to Fox News that betting syndicates were involved in the deaths of Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer and former South African captain Hansie Cronje. Fox Sports quoted Rice as saying: "These mafia betting syndicates do not stop at anything and they do not care who gets in their way." Former Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson had earlier told Fox Sports that match-fixing "might not be about money, it might be about extortion, all the things that go on".
Rice received treatment in Hanover, Germany. In February 2015, Rice collapsed at his house in Johannesburg and scans at a local hospital found that, as his tumor was located deep down, it could not be removed by a neurosurgeon by invasive surgery. Rice went to Health Care Global in Bangalore and received robotic radiation treatment to have the tumor removed; the surgery was successful and Rice returned home in March 2015. On the morning of 28 July 2015, Rice died from sepsis in the Morningside hospital in Johannesburg. Sproat, I; the Cricketers' Who's Who 1988, Willow Books: London. ISBN 0 00 218285 8. Clive Rice Sports and Bush Safaris website Clive Rice at ESPNcricinfo Sunday Times article 3 January 2010 Family tree
An all-rounder is a cricketer who performs well at both batting and bowling. Although all bowlers must bat and quite a few batsmen do bowl most players are skilled in only one of the two disciplines and are considered specialists; some wicket-keepers have the skills of a specialist batsman and have been referred to as all-rounders, but the term wicketkeeper-batsman is more applied to them if they are substitute wicketkeepers who bowl. There is no precise qualification for a player to be considered an all-rounder and use of the term tends to be subjective; the accepted criterion is that a "genuine all-rounder" is someone whose batting or bowling skills, considered alone, would be good enough to win him/her a place in the team. Another definition of a "genuine all-rounder" is a player who can through both batting and bowling "win matches for the team". By either definition, a genuine all-rounder is quite rare and valuable to a team operating as two players. Confusion sometimes arises. For example, West Indies pace bowler Malcolm Marshall achieved ten scores of 50 or above in 107 Test innings between 1978 and 1991, but had a batting average of less than 19.
He would be termed a "useful lower-order batsman", or indeed "a bowler who bats a bit". A specialist batsman/woman may be termed a "useful change bowler" and a good example of this is Australian Allan Border, who in a Test match against the West Indies in Sydney in January 1989 took 11 wickets for 96 runs as the conditions suited his used left-arm spin. One of the main constraints to becoming a recognised all-rounder is that batsmen/women and bowlers "peak" at different ages. Batsmen/women tend to reach their peak in their late twenties after their technique has matured through experience. Conversely, fast bowlers peak in their early to mid twenties at the height of their physical prowess. Other bowlers spinners but fast bowlers who can "swing" the ball, are most effective in their careers. In 2013, Ali Bacher used statistical analysis to argue that there had only been 42 genuine all-rounders in the history of Test cricket, he rated Garry Sobers as the best, followed by Jacques Kallis. One used statistical rule of thumb is that a player's batting average should be greater than his/her bowling average.
In Test cricket, only three players have batting averages that are 20 greater than their bowling average over their entire careers (with: Garfield Sobers, Jacques Kallis and Wally Hammond. However, some other players have achieved such a differential over significant parts of their careers, such as Imran Khan. Doug Walters achieved the 20-run average differential with a batting average of 48.26 and a bowling average of 29.08, however he was regarded as an occasional bowler who could break partnerships rather than a genuine all-rounder. In overall first-class cricket, there are several players with higher batting averages. Statistically, few can challenge Frank Woolley who had a batting average of 40.77 and a bowling average of 19.87. Woolley took over 2000 wickets in his career, scored more runs than anyone except Jack Hobbs and is the only non-wicketkeeper to have taken more than 1000 catches. Many all-rounders are better at bowling than vice versa. Few are good at both and hardly any have been outstanding at both.
Thus the terms "bowling all-rounder" and "batting all-rounder" have come into use. For example, Richard Hadlee had an excellent bowling average of 22.29 in Tests and a solid batting average of 27.16, leading him to be termed a "bowling all-rounder". Meanwhile, a player like Jacques Kallis is known as a "batting all-rounder". Batting all-rounders may not bowl much due to injury concerns, or their batting skills are far better than their bowling to begin with to the point they revert to being known as a batsman. V. E. Walker of Middlesex, playing for All-England versus Surrey at The Oval on 21, 22 & 23 July 1859, took all ten wickets in the Surrey first innings and followed this by scoring 108 in the England second innings, having been the not out batsman in the first, he took a further four wickets in Surrey's second innings. All-England won by 392 runs. On 15 August 1862, E. M. Grace carried his bat through the entire MCC innings, scoring 192 not out of a total of 344. Bowling underarm, he took all 10 wickets in the Kent first innings for 69 runs.
However, this is not an official record. The first player to perform the double of 1000 runs and 100 wickets in an English season was W. G. Grace in 1873, he scored 2139 runs at 71.30 and took 106 wickets at 12.94. Grace completed eight doubles to 1886 and it was not until 1882 that another player accomplished the feat. In the 1906 English cricket season, George Herbert Hirst achieved the unique feat of scoring over 2000 runs and taking over 200 wickets, he scored 2385 runs including six centuries at 45.86 with a highest score of 169. He took 208 wickets at 16.50 with a best analysis of 7/18
Free State (province)
The Free State is a province of South Africa. Its capital is Bloemfontein, South Africa's judicial capital, its historical origins lie in the Boer republic called Orange Free State and Orange Free State Province. The current borders of the province date from 1994 when the Bantustans were abolished and reincorporated into South Africa, it is the only one of the four original provinces of South Africa not to undergo border changes, excluding the reincorporation of Bantustans. The provincial government consists of a premier, an executive council of ten ministers, a legislature; the provincial assembly and premier are elected for five-year terms, or until the next national election. Political parties are awarded assembly seats based on the percentage of votes each party receives in the province during the national elections; the assembly elects a premier, who appoints the members of the executive council. The premier of Free State as of 2009 was Ace Magashule of the African National Congress. In 2018, Sisi Ntombela was appointed premier.
The Free State is situated on a succession of flat grassy plains sprinkled with pastureland, resting on a general elevation of 3,800 feet only broken by the occasional hill or kopje. The rich soil and pleasant climate allow for a thriving agricultural industry. With more than 30,000 farms, which produce over 70% of the country's grain, it is known locally as South Africa's breadbasket; the province is high-lying, with all land being 1,000 metres above sea level. The Drakensberg and Maluti Mountains foothills raise the terrain to over 2,000 m in the east; the Free State lies in the heart of the Karoo Sequence of rocks, containing shales, mudstones and the Drakensberg Basalt forming the youngest capping rocks. Mineral deposits are plentiful, with gold and diamonds being of particular importance found in the north and west of the province; the flats in the south of the reserve provides ideal conditions for large herds of plain game such as black wildebeest and springbok. The ridges and plains typical of the northern section are home to kudu, red hartebeest, southern white rhinoceros and buffalo.
The Southern African wildcat, black wildebeest, eland, white rhinoceros and wild dog can be seen at the Soetdoring Nature Reserve near Bloemfontein. The South African cheetahs has been reintroduced in the Free State for the first time in June 2013 after a hundred years of regional extinction, at Laohu Valley Reserve near Philippolis. Following the reintroduction of an adult female South African cheetah in early 2016, three wild cheetah cubs has been born for the first time in Laohu Valley Reserve in February 2017, making the three new cubs the first cheetahs born in the wild since their disappearance from the Free State province in over a century; the Free State experiences a continental climate, characterised by warm to hot summers and cool to cold winters. Areas in the east experience frequent snowfalls on the higher ranges, whilst the west can be hot in summer. All precipitation falls in the summer months as brief afternoon thunderstorms, with aridity increasing towards the west. Areas in the east around Harrismith and Ficksburg are well watered.
The capital, experiences hot, moist summers and cold, dry winters frequented by severe frost. Bloemfontein averages: January maximum: 31 °C, July maximum: 17 °C, annual precipitation: 559 mm Bethlehem averages: 27 °C, July maximum: 16 °C, annual precipitation: 680 mm In the southeast, the Free State borders seven districts of Lesotho: Mokhotlong – farthest to the east Butha-Buthe – northwest of Mokhotlong and northeast of Leribe Leribe – southwest of Butha-Buthe and northeast of Berea Berea – southwest of Leribe and north of Maseru Maseru – south of Berea and northeast of Mafeteng Mafeteng – southwest of Maseru and northwest of Mohale's Hoek Mohale's Hoek – southeast of MafetengDomestically, it borders the following provinces: KwaZulu-Natal – east Eastern Cape – south Northern Cape – west North West – northwest Gauteng – north Mpumalanga – northeastThe Free State borders more districts of Lesotho and more provinces of South Africa than any other province, it is traversed by the northwesterly line of equal longitude.
The Free State Province is divided into one metropolitan municipality and four district municipalities. The district municipalities are in turn divided into 19 local municipalities: See List of cities and towns in the Free State The Free State's major towns include: Bloemfontein & Botshabelo in Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality Welkom and Virginia in Lejweleputswa Bethlehem and Phuthaditjhaba in Thabo Mofutsanyana Kroonstad and Parys in Fezile Dabi The Free State is the only province in South Africa that operates a free 24-hour dedicated rotorwing aeromedical service from a public hospital, they are able to deliver a high level of care on scene. On 31 October 2018 Free State Emergency Medical Service launched an additional 65 road ambulances to augment the fleet. Free state has many private hospitals; some of them are: Bloemfontein Medi-clinic Bethlehem Medi-clinic Welkom Medi-clinic Mofumahadi Mmanapo Regional Hospital in Phuthaditjhaba. The province is the granary of South Africa, with agriculture central to its economy, while mining on the rich goldfields reef is its largest employer.
Agriculture dominates the Free State landscape, with cultivated land covering 32,000 square kilometres, natural veld and grazing a further 87,000 square kilometres of the province. It is South A