Cricket South Africa (CSA) has acted on its plan to tweak the limited-overs format by making trial changes to their domestic competition, including reducing the format to 40 overs each, allowing 12 players a side and allowing the batting side to pick Powerplays. This follows the England board's decision to do away with their 50-over competition and retain the 40-over format to go with the first-class and Twenty20 championships.
However while the teams can pick 12 players, only 11 can bat and field. The first Powerplay will extend up to 10 overs and the second for five and both must be taken before the 35th over. For one, four fielders will be allowed outside the ring, and for the other three.
Also for rain delays overs will be deducted immediately, and matches will be played over a set period regardless of the weather.
The existing 45-over MTN domestic championship will be replaced will the new format from October 28. Gerald Majola, CSA chief executive, said the changes would revolutionise cricket in South Africa. "CSA believes the new format will be a dynamic alternative to the dull periods that have crept into the 45-over version by providing added excitement and playing intensity," Majola said. "This change is part of CSA's vision of giving fans the excitement and action they want without losing any of the basic skills that are an integral part of the game.
"At the same time, we will also be preparing our players for the 50-over international version if that does not change. And if it does become shorter, then we will have a head start."
Majola also said there would be substantial prize money and bonuses for players and franchises.