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Pretorius: 3TC match will be 'bitter sweet'

The format will be a strange one, with three teams competing in a single match with eight players on each side. The match is played over 36 overs in two halves of 18 overs with a break at halftime.

South Africa's Dwaine Pretorius (2R) celebrates with teammates after bowling Sri Lanka's Kusal Perera for 30 during the 2019 Cricket World Cup group stage match between Sri Lanka and South Africa at the Riverside Ground, in Chester-le-Street, northeast England, on 28 June 2019. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - After more than three months of no action, cricket finally returns to South Africa in the form of the inaugural 3TeamCricket in Centurion on Saturday.

The format will be a strange one with three teams competing in a single match with eight players on each side. The match 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.

Like many of us, Kites all-rounder, Dwaine Pretorius conceded that he was still coming to terms with the rules.

“What I do know is there’s three teams, I know they’ll each face 12 overs and I know the one with the most runs wins,” he conceded. “There’s obviously six fielders and the last batsman stands. It’s fun being a part of something new and fresh, the learning is half the fun of it all. I’m sure in the training match on Thursday we’ll see practically exactly how everything works”, he said.

“We’re very excited to get back onto the field. After such a long time off it, everyone is just really excited to be back. In a way, it is a little bit bitter-sweet because after this we don’t know when we’ll be back again, but for now we’re just looking forward to this opportunity”, he said.

One major void ahead of the game is that there will be no fans at SuperSport Park with the contest being broadcast on SuperSport 2.

Having played a lot of domestic cricket, where there are limited fans in the stadium, Pretorius does not feel that playing behind closed doors will be an issue.

“We’re [domestic players] used to that. But for the regular internationals, it will be something they’re going to have to get used to. They’re generally used to playing in front of big crowds, but we’ll all have to adjust and take in what is expected to be the new normal for the near future”, he said.

Meanwhile, Cricket South Africa confirmed on Tuesday that there were six positive COVID-19 tests out of the 50 that were conducted ahead of the match.

None of the positive tests were from any of the participating players.

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