The biggest names in South African cricket will return to the field for an exhibition match in Centurion on June 27, with one interesting rider – three teams will play in one 36-over match in a never-before-seen format.

AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock and Kagiso Rabada will lead the three teams in the first ever ‘3TC (three-team cricket) match’. Billed as ‘the latest evolution in short-form cricket’, the new format will have a unique set of rules in places.

An official announcement on the tournament from Cricket South Africa is expected on Wednesday, but here is what is known so far:

Teams

The finest cricketers from South Africa will be part of the match, titled the ‘Solidarity Cup’. The match will be a fundraiser, with the proceeds going to those from the cricket community who are enduring hardship due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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

Rules

– A 3TC match is contested between 3 teams of 8 players each. The match is played over 36 overs in two halves of 18 overs with a break at halftime.

– Teams bat for one innings of 12 overs, split between two 6-over periods. They face one opponent in the first half and the other opponent in the second half.

– In the first half, teams rotate from batting to bowling to the dugout with the starting positions determined by a draw. In the second half, teams bat in order of the highest scores in the first half. If scores are tied, the first half order is reversed.

– After the fall of the 7th wicket, the last batsman stands alone. However, he can only score in even numbers of runs. If the 7th wicket falls in the first half, the team forfeits the remaining part of that half and the last batsman resumes the innings in the second half.

– Each bowling team has the use of one new ball for their full 12 overs which is used for both opponents. A maximum of three overs per bowler is allowed. An uncompleted over due to the fall of the 7th wicket is deemed to be completed with dot balls.

– Most runs wins Gold, second Silver and third Bronze. If 2 teams tie with most runs, super overs decide Gold; if all 3 teams tie, all get Gold; and, in a tie for second, Silver is shared.

Playing conditions

CSA’s chief medical officer, Dr Shuaib Manjra had said a strict Covid-19 protocol will be in place for the match.

“First of all it will be an empty stadium, we’re looking at the minimum number of people being there for the event to happen and be broadcast, which is about 200. The players will get in three days before and be kept in a sanitised eco-system… In the stadium, everyone will wear masks and doors will be kept open along with other safety measures.”

When and Where

The match will be held at the SuperSport Park in Centurion on 27 June at 2:30 pm IST.

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