As the sporting action resumes around the globe in empty stadiums amid the global pandemic, cricket too will be ending its hiatus soon as South Africa’s finest cricketers will compete in an exhibition match titled the ‘Solidarity Cup’ on June 27.
However, it will not be just a run of the mill cricket contest. The fundraiser match will debut a new format called 3T Cricket, where three teams of eight will compete for victory.
The three teams competing in the match are as follows:
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, Dwaine 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.
What is 3T Cricket?
As mentioned above, 3T Cricket is a new format that will be making its debut in this match and will feature three teams, as opposed to the traditional two, competing against each other.
The match will be 36 overs long, where each team will bat and bowl six overs each against the other two teams. The match will be split into two halves, with each half consisting of three six-over matches. The order of the matches will be decided by a draw in the first half, and in the second, the team with the highest score will bat first, followed by the team with the second-highest score and lastly, the team with the lowest.
The inaugural Solidarity Cup takes place at SuperSport Park on 27 June.— SuperSport Park (@SuperSportPark) June 18, 2020
Due to the tough circumstances we find ourselves in there will be no spectators allowed but you can catch all the action live on SuperSport 2.#SolidarityCup | #3TCricket pic.twitter.com/mTEoW94Mh7
Each team will have eight players but will be allowed to pick three more from the team not competing in the match to field for them when they bowl. The teams will have eight wickets in hand for their quota of 12 overs over two halves. The ‘Last Man Standing’ rule will come into play at the fall of the seventh wicket, where the lone batsman can only score in 2s, 4s and 6s. Each bowler will have a quota of three overs over the two halves.
Why this new format?
Cricket has always kept evolving to keep the fans engrossed in the sport. The introduction of shorter formats with smaller boundaries, flatter pitches aimed at high-scoring thrillers has been the mantra of cricket boards around the world to rope in the fans.
The success of T20 paved the way for boards across the globe to experiment with T10, an even shorter version of the sport. 3T Cricket is just another effort by Cricket South Africa to give the sport a new flavour that could maybe go on and become cricket’s next marquee attraction.
However, the failure of splitting a 45-over one-day game into four innings that Cricket Australia experimented with during their 2010-2011 domestic season also shows that not all innovations stick as expected.
It is currently unclear how far 3T Cricket would go, but the competition between three teams and having two halves is certainly unique and will surely pique the interest of the fans that have been starved of their beloved sport for months.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Manjunath Kiran