Cricket South Africa’s adventurous 3-Team Solidarity Cup - All you need to know

Cricket South Africa’s adventurous 3-Team Solidarity Cup - All you need to know

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AB de Villiers will make a return in this tournament



After clearing the roadblocks, Cricket South Africa are all set to host the experimental 3Team Solidarity Cup in Centurion on July 18 in a bid to raise funds for people who have lost their livelihood due to the pandemic. But how does this unique format work? Here is a complete low down.

What is the 3TC tournament?

The 3TC tournament, or the Solidarity Cup as it is branded as, is an experimental cricket tournament involving three teams - Kingfishers, Kites and Eagles - in one game of cricket. The match will be played at the SuperSport Park in Centurion on July 18 (Saturday) behind closed doors and the money that will be raised will go towards CSA cricket hardship fund, which aims to provide support to people within the cricket industry affected by the Covid19 pandemic. The organisers are hoping to raise as much as USD178,000 

What is the uniqueness of this venture?

This is a format that basically challenges the very notion of the traditional way of playing cricket. As the name goes, instead of two, here three teams will contest in a single game of cricket consisting of two halves. Every team will have eight players in their playing party while a total of 36 overs will be bowled, with a half-time break taken at the 18-over mark. For every team, one innings would last 12 overs, which will be split six-over periods, in which one opponent will bowl in the first half and the other in the second.

Is that it?

No, what I just told you was an oversimplification of things, there are a lot more confusing bits there. As per this format, teams shuffle between batting, bowling and sitting in the dugout in the first half of the match while the reductive order would be followed in the second half to wrap the 36-over proceedings.

Additionally, unlike the normal cricket match, the last man standing will have a chance to bat even after the dismissal of the seventh wicket. However, he can’t score 1 or 3, but he can run for 2, 4, hit a boundary or six for that matter.

How weird is it! Tell me, how would you find the winner and loser?

This is, at least, simple. The team with the highest number of runs at the end of the proceedings will be given Gold medal, with the second and third-placed teams will be given silver and bronze respectively. Basically this is like that three-member rhyme competition in school when you get a medal no matter how bad you sing.

Who is rolling this tournament out?

Although Cricket South Africa is very much involved in the event preparation, 3TeamCricket (3TC) is actually a joint venture by the former CEO of FirstRand bank, Paul Harris - who is now involved in a mobile data company RAIN, English cricket commentator Mark Nicholas, and former South African rugby captain Francois Pienaar. 

The format was actually conceptualised by Harris, who during a three-team card game with his family, planned the match in which three teams can add up in a single game of cricket. Speaking on the same, Harris said, "I've always been intrigued with how to develop the game. How do you actually get teams that perhaps aren't as competitive as others into playing with the better teams? How do you get clubs and schools that haven't got the facilities involved and competing at the highest level? That was the end of the card game, and off I went and spent hours and hours puzzling it out."

Well, who are the players taking part?

Almost every single top South African players apart from Dale Steyn and Dean Elgar - who were nursing for injuries - were supposed to take part in the tournament, but that suffered a major roadblock yesterday when Kagiso Rabada and Chris Morris had to pull out of the tournament. While Rabada took the decision due to the death of an immediate family member, Morris’ reason has not been declared yet. Sisanda Magala is another player to miss out due to the death of a family member and the trio will be replaced by Thando Ntini, Bjorn Fortuin, and Gerald Coetzee. In Rabada’s absence, Heinrich Klaasen will lead the Kingfishers.

The last I heard, Centurion is a Corona hotspot. So how are they organising a match there?

You are right, This is a very controversial avenue to take considering the Coronavirus cases are in an upward surge in the last few days in South Africa with Gauteng province being the epicentre in the country. The reason, however, considering most of the borders are sealed and 12 out of the 24 players to be involved are from Gauteng made things logistically easier for South Africa. As a contingency plan, two alternative venues in Skukuza and Potchefstroom have been on stand-by.

Cool. Let the game begin. Who is going to show this in India, though?

Star Sports Network will be telecasting the game on both TV and their streaming platform Hotstar. 

Leave me with the squads, please?

There you go!

Mr D Food Kites: Quinton De Kock (captain), Temba Bavuma, Jon-Jon Smuts, David Miller, Dwaine Pretorius, Lutho Sipamla, Beuran Hendricks, Anrich Nortje. Coach: Wandile Gwavu.

OUTsurance Kingfishers: Heinrich Klaasen (captain), Reeza Hendricks, Janneman Malan, Faf du Plessis, Gerald Coetzee, Glenton Stuurman, Tabraiz Shamsi. Coach: Mignon du Preez.

Takealot Eagles: AB de Villiers (captain), Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Andile Phehklukwayo, Bjorn Fortuin, Junior Dala, Lungi Ngidi. Coach: Geoffrey Toyana.

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