Cricket South Africa have announced a return to cricket with an innovative concept called 3TCricket, where three teams will play in a single match. They will compete for the inaugural Solidarity Cup on June 27 at SuperSport Park in Centurion.
The new format will see 24 of South Africa's top cricketers across three teams playing two halves in one match.
The teams are the Eagles, captained by AB de Villiers, Kingfishers captained by Kagiso Rabada and the Kites captained by Quinton de Kock.
The match will be the first live sport in South Africa since the lockdown was announced in March 2020.
"It’s been quite some time since the South African public and fans of cricket worldwide have been able to consume the game we all love. I know that the players are itching to get back into action as well, which is why we as CSA are so excited about the Solidarity Cup. It’s a thrilling new format and a match that is working towards a greater good. We are proud to partner with 3TeamCricket on this project," CSA Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith, said.
De Villiers believes said the concept could be a game changer.
"It’s a great idea and credit must go to Cricket South Africa and Rain for working to develop this new and innovative style of cricket. There are very few team sports in the world where you get to play more than one opponent in a single fixture, this is going to be a game changer. We have some very talented cricketers involved who are really excited to return to play with a bang," he said.
De Kock, meanwhile, was excited about the new format.
"I’m really excited to be captaining the Kites, we have a great team and I think we can claim the gold. I’m even more excited about the new format, it’s going to be a lot of fun playing to beat KG and AB on the same day," he said.
"It’s been a long wait to get back into action and I’m looking forward to playing again alongside some of the country’s biggest names. We have a good balance of talent and experience in our team and I’m confident that we can walk away with the inaugural Solidarity Cup," said Rabada.
The match is played over 36 overs in two halves of 18 overs each.
Each teams bat for one innings of 12 overs, split into two 6-over periods. Each 6-over period will be bowled by a different opponent.
The starting positions will be determined by a draw. The teams rotate from batting to bowling/dugout in the first half. In the second, teams bat in order of highest score in the first half.
If a team loses seven wickets, the last batsman can bat alone but he can score only in even number of runs.
The team with most runs wins Gold, while the next two teams win Silver and Bronze.
KG’s Kingfishers: Kagiso Rabada (c), Faf du Plessis, Chris Morris, Tabraiz Shamsi, Reeza Hendricks, Janneman Malan, Heinrich Klaasen, Glenton Stuurman
Quinny’s Kites: Quinton de Kock (c), David Miller, Temba Bavuma, Anrich Nortje, Dwayne Pretorius, Beuran Hendricks, JJ Smuts, Lutho Sipamla
AB’s Eagles: AB de Villiers (c), Aiden Markram, Lungi Ngidi, Andile, Phehlukwayo, Rassie van der Dussen, Junior Dala, Kyle Verreynne, Sisanda Magala