South Africa postpones unique three-team fixture

South African cricket players and team officials arrive at the airport in Kolkata on March 16, 2020. - India called off its two remaining one-day cricket internationals against a visiting South Africa side amid mounting anxiety in India over the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP) (Photo by DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: South African cricket players and team officials at an airport in Kolkata, India. (Photo by DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP via Getty Images)

Cricket South Africa has been forced to postpone its trial of three-team cricket after failing to win government backing for the original date of June 27 over concerns about preparations following the COVID-19 pandemic.

CSA had hoped to stage the unique fixture that would see a trio of sides compete in one 36-over match at SuperSport Park near Pretoria for what would have been a return to cricket for the likes of AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock and Kagiso Rabada.

“The operational teams behind the Solidarity match and event partners, in collaboration with Cricket South Africa, 3TCricket and SuperSport, met to consider the readiness to host the event on June 27,” CSA said in a statement.

“Following this meeting, it has become clear that more work is needed in preparation, including (government) approval.”

When the fixture is played, teams of eight players 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 winners.

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.

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