Cricket SA's One-Day Cup reduced from 24 matches to 15
Less is the new normal.
That was the message from Cricket SA (CSA) director of cricket Graeme Smith as the organisation announced that the Momentum One-Day Cup will kick off this weekend in a bio-secure environment (BSE) at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom.
But there will be fewer matches played compared to last year’s edition.
With President Cyril Ramaphosa having declared last month that SA is officially grappling with a second wave of Covid-19 with infection rates shooting up daily, CSA announced that the 50-over tournament will be played behind closed doors at one venue to minimise the risk of transmissions.
But the bad news is that the competition’s structure has been tampered with and the new arrangement will only cater for 15 matches instead of the traditional 24 games.
The six competing franchises remain divided into two pools of three teams each.
The Dolphins, who are the defending champions, are grouped in Pool A with the Titans and the Knights and are scheduled to play each other on a home and away basis from January 9 to 16.
The Lions, the Cobras and the Warriors will battle for supremacy in Pool B and their action will follow later in the month between January 29 and February 6.
The six franchises were originally expected to play each other in a single round on a cross-pool basis but instead, said former captain Smith, the top two teams of each pool will go head-to-head in the semifinals on February 11 and 12.
The final is scheduled for Valentine's Day as cricket congregates in the North West province for the first CSA limited-overs competition of the season.
“It is unfortunate that we have to reduce the number of matches being played and move the entire competition to one venue, but the restrictions need to be put in place to ensure the tournament goes ahead in a safe environment in accordance with government regulations,” said Smith.
Pool A will enter the BSE on Monday evening in preparation for the opening fixture between the Titans and Dolphins on Saturday.
All 15 matches will be day games and start at 10am and be televised live to cater for the strong appetite for live cricket.
“Televising every match will give fans unprecedented access to domestic cricket and showcase local talent in the absence of attending matches,” said Smith.
CSA has also introduced the new ICC Playing Condition where tied matches will be determined as per the following extract:
- If the Super Over is a tie, subsequent Super Overs shall be played limited to a minimum of one (1) and a maximum of three (3) to determine the winner.
- If all three Super Overs are tied the match shall be declared as a tie and the match points only will be shared.