Picture: 123RF/Lance Bellers
Picture: 123RF/Lance Bellers

Cricket SA will trial a new format with three teams competing in a single 36-over Solidarity Cup match at SuperSport Park in Centurion on June 27.

The fixture is a chance for the country’s leading players to get game time in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic but will also raise funds for charity. It will be played in an empty stadium and is a test for, the sport’s national governing body's protocols for a return to play for the domestic game, which could come as early as July.

Captains AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock and Kagiso Rabada will lead teams of eight players who will bat for a total of 12 overs, six per innings, during which time they will face both opponents in the field.

At the fall of the seventh wicket, the last remaining batsman can carry on but only score in even numbers — twos, four or a six. The team with the highest aggregate total at the end of the game will be declared the winner.

“I know the players are itching to get back into action, which is why we are so excited about the Solidarity Cup,” said Graeme Smith, a former Proteas captain and director of cricket at Cricket SA. “It’s a thrilling new format and a match that is working towards a greater good.”

Cricket SA have been given permission by the government to host matches under strict protocols and are hoping to welcome India for three Twenty20 internationals in late August. They also have a Test and limited-overs tour to the West Indies that was scheduled to start in late July but will be moved to new date.

Reuters