The announcement of a once-off exhibition match set to be staged by Cricket South Africa on 27 June has everyone asking what on earth three-team cricket is.
Photo Copyright – Steve Haag Sports
As a concept three-team cricket was developed in part by former Rand Bank CEO Paul Harris, alongside Mark Nicholas and former Springbok rugby captain Francoise Pienaar.
Together they created the company 3TeamCricket, and the innovative format also goes by the name 3T Cricket.
Cricket has played around with its formats endlessly, but very few have ever incorporated an extra team into the mix.
For the one-off match at Supersport Park, 24 of South Africa’s best cricket will take part in three teams of eight with the match being 36 overs long.
Those 36 overs are divided into two halves of 18 overs each; the teams will play an innings of 12 overs with six overs being faced in each half of the match.
In each half, each team will bowl six overs at each of the other two teams.
The three-team format will utilise a last man stands rule, with the final batsman batting out the innings if he should run out of partners.
Bowlers will be limited to three overs each against both teams with each of the three announced units featuring at least four front line bowlers.
In the end, the team that scores the most runs will be awarded a gold medal, silver to the second place and the side who claim the ‘wooden spoon’ will go home with bronze.
The proceeds of the match which will be broadcast by Supersport will go towards a newly established Hardship Fund aimed at assisting those who depend upon cricket to make a living.
3TeamCricket’s developers admit that the concept is a work in progress, but this kind of event may very well help them iron out some of the kinks.
Ultimately the format is aimed at improving engagement and assisting clubs, organisations and schools who don’t have the facilities to stage matches or the resources to field 11-player teams.
Three team cricket event squads
Eagles: AB de Villiers, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Andile Phehlukwayo, Sisanda Magala, Junior Dala, Lungi Ngidi.
Kingfishers: Kagiso Rabada, Reeza Hendricks, Janneman Malan, Faf du Plessis, Heinrich Klaasen, Chris Morris, Glenton Stuurman, Tabraiz Shamsi.
Kites: Quinton de Kock, Temba Bavuma, Jon-Jon Smuts, David Miller, Dwaine Pretorius, Lutho Sipamla, Beuran Hendricks, Anrich Nortje.