South Africa Returns to cricket With A New Format

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Just when we all thought cricket could be revolutionised no more, along comes 3T; cricket’s newest format. One match, three teams all in 36 overs and some big names.

When T20 burst on the scene back in 2003 it was a breath of fresh air to most. Fast-paced action with gimmicks and novelty aplenty. The crowds loved it and they continue to turn up in their droves. T20 is now a global phenomenon and to many is the pinnacle of the sport, certainly as a spectacle.

This summer was supposed to see the inaugural The Hundred competition take place, new rules, 10 ball overs and the worlds best players competing in city-based franchises. Following a draft style selection process, the excitement around the new format was palpable. Like T20 this was another ECB innovation, designed to attract yet more of the none cricket public to the sport. However, due to Covid-19, the tournament has been pushed back a year.

So what’s the new kid on the block, ‘3TC’ all about. To begin with, the format is only being used as an exhibition, to showcase the return of cricket to South Africa following the coronavirus pandemic. On June 27 at SuperSport Park, Centurion three teams will go head to head in one match.

Captained by South African superstars AB De Villiers, Quinton de Kock and Kagiso Rabada, the teams will compete for the ‘Solidarity Cup’. The match will also raise funds for those enduring hardship in the cricket community due to Covid-19.

The best players from South Africa are set to play in what will be an intriguing contest.

Also read: T20 World Cup: what should be Pakistan’s squad?, Muhammad Nouman

The 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 comprising 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. The second half: teams bat in order of the highest scores in the first half. If scores are equal, the first half order is reversed.
  • At the fall of the 7th wicket, the last batsman bats 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. An uncompleted overdue to the fall of the 7th wicket is deemed to be completed with dot balls.
  • Most runs win Gold, second Silver and third Bronze. If 2 teams tie with most runs, a super over will decide Gold; if all 3 teams tie, all get Gold. In a tie for second, Silver is shared.

Perhaps slightly more confused than the formats that have gone before but something I’m sure we can all get accustomed to.

The match is set to go ahead under strict protocols and without fans in attendance. Should the format be a hit with the watching millions at home we may have our new rival for the established T20 format.

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