CSA likely to hold 'festival of cricket' at Newlands
Cricket South Africa is planning a festival of cricket to replace the New Year's Test in Cape Town in the first week of 2014. The festival is likely to feature Twenty20 matches spread over three days between January 3 and January 6, 2014, and may include some of the country's best known sportspeople.
One idea being proposed is to start the festival with a T20 game between the national rugby team, the Springboks, and the national cricket side. This may be followed by a women's match on the same day. On January 4, all six of South Africa's domestic franchises are scheduled to play a triple-header to mark the start of the domestic T20 competition. On the following day, there are plans to revive the traditional north-south derby in a shorter format.
The derby between a team from the northern part of the country - then called Transvaal - and the south, in the Western Cape, used to be the marquee fixture of the summer during South Africa's isolation years. The match is likely to be played again, in a shorter format, and members of the public can vote for the players they want to see in each XI.
SuperSport, the pay-television broadcaster, also confirmed that they had allocated broadcast slots to matches on the dates matching those of the proposed festival.
If conducted, the festival is unlikely to help CSA recover its losses from a curtailed India series, but a source told ESPNcricinfo that the event would "ensure content for the ground." Newlands, which is expected to host the festival, may be the only ground to benefit from the innovation, after missing out on a game during the India tour.
After the New Year's Test against India was cancelled, Newlands has been compensated with a T20 and an ODI against Pakistan, in a hastily organised series which got underway on Wednesday. Both Bloemfontein and East London, were due to host India for ODIs but have not been given any alternate fixtures.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent