Star opening batsman Janneman Malan expects the inaugural 3TeamCricket Solidarity Cup match, presented by Rain, on Saturday to be of the highest quality.
For the first time ever, three teams will play in a single cricket match, as they vie for the inaugural Solidarity Cup at SuperSport Park in Centurion.
Adding to the intrigue is the fact that the match is the first piece of live sports in South Africa since the middle of March when the COVID-19 pandemic forced most of the world into lockdown.
“It’s going to be interesting to see what tactics the teams adopt and how the players start the game, whether they will be aggressive or if they will be a more relaxed approach,” Malan, who will represent the OUTsurance Kingfishers, said. “I think once that is sorted out, the competitive edge will kick in.
“Although it is a fun match and one that’s being played for a good cause, I have no doubt it will be of the highest quality. From what I’ve seen so far, everyone is raring to go.”
The match has also been put together to raise funds for the Hardship Fund, a joint Cricket South Africa (CSA) project which aims to provide relief to those within the cricket industry affected by the current crisis.
A 3TC match is contested between three teams of eight players each and is played over 36 overs in two halves of 18 overs with a break at halftime. In the second half, teams bat in order of the highest scores in the first half. If scores are tied, the first half order is reversed.
“I did a bit of reading, but to be honest I’ve learnt a lot during the week after we have met up with our team-mates and colleagues from the other teams,” Malan explained. “We’re now working on tactics and strategies which we as the Kingfishers will be adapting as a team.
“The game we played on Thursday was a nice dress rehearsal to just go through it and actually see what it’s like because we didn’t know what to expect.”
Malan’s team will be captained by Reeza Hendricks and coached by Momentum Proteas star Mignon du Preez. National limited-overs skipper Quinton De Kock leads Mr D Food Kites, while AB de Villiers will be at the helm of the Takealot Eagles.
“All three teams are well balanced and exciting,” Proteas batsman Malan adds. “We have a top frontline spinner (Tabraiz Shamsi) and that will hopefully give us the edge.
“So it will be interesting to see how it pans out with mainly seamers for the game. We also have the exciting Gerald Coetzee and the rest of the names speak for themselves.”
The 24-year-old says he cannot wait to get to the middle on Saturday.
“All the players are excited to just get back to normal and to do what they love,” he concluded. “It was difficult during these past couple of months to not be able to do what you’re so used to. So we’re happy we can go out on the park again.”
No fans will be permitted into the stadium due to the strict coronavirus restrictions. The match will be broadcast Live on SuperSport 2 with build-up starting at 10:45 (SAST).