CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Cricket South Africa (CSA) will finally get to trial a new format that will see three teams compete in a single 36-over match on July 18 after winning government approval for the fixture to be played at SuperSport Park in Pretoria.
CSA had to postpone the match from its original date of June 27 as the government had not provided the necessary approval for training and match-day protocols.
However, the players returned to the nets on Monday and the game will now be staged on the 102nd anniversary of the birth of former president Nelson Mandela.
“I can’t think of a more appropriate day on which to hold this game than Nelson Mandela Day when its prime objective is to raise funds for those who have been badly affected by the Coronavirus,” CSA Acting Chief Executive Jacques Faul said in a statement on Wednesday.
AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock and Kagiso Rabada will lead three teams of eight batting for a total of 12 overs, six per innings, during which time they will face both opponents.
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 — and the team with the highest aggregate total at the end will be declared the winners.
The fixture is a chance for the country’s leading players to get some game-time under their belts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, but will also raise funds for charity.
South Africa is still seeing a steady rise in COVID-19 cases, with the province of Gauteng, where the fixture is to be played, reporting a sharp increase in the past week.
Reporting By Nick Said; Editing by Peter Rutherford