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Domestic cricket in South Africa to resume on November 2

The summer will start with the four-day franchise competition and will end with the T20 Cup

Firdose Moonda
Firdose Moonda


Domestic cricket in South Africa will resume on November 2 after more than seven months. During that time, the only action was an exhibition 3TC played in July, while both the national men's and women's teams had tours postponed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.The national teams may have to wait longer with no international fixtures tabled yet, but franchise and provincial matches have been confirmed.
South Africa is still on lockdown, albeit on the most lenient level (1 of 5, with the 5 being the most strict) which means that all sport must take place behind closed doors and that international sport is not yet permitted. Individual athletes have been given permission to leave the country for events such as the IPL and WBBL.
For now, the majority of South Africa's players will be in action in a little over three weeks' time when the four-day franchise competition kicks off. It will go unsponsored for the third successive summer. It is also one of six competitions that does not have a corporate backer, with only the men's franchise one-day cup financially supported. As a result, the number of fixtures has been reduced in both the men's four-day and T20 competition.
The summer will start with the four-day franchise competition, which sees the six teams divided into two groups of three, and playing seven matches each with a one-off, five-day final. In previous years, each team would play the others both home and away for a total of 10 matches. Notably, this season, all fixtures will take place at the county's 'bigger' grounds - the Wanderers, Newlands, Kingsmead, SuperSport Park, St George's Park, and Mangaung Oval. This means that grounds in Potchefstroom, Paarl, East London, Benoni, Pietermaritzburg and Kimberley will not be used. Those grounds will have to wait for the one-day cup in January and February, which will be sponsored by Momentum for the final time. So will fans, who want to see live action, as typically, the four-day competition is not televised.
The season will conclude with the T20 Cup, in lieu of an Mzansi Super League, which will not take place this summer. The six franchises will play each other once, with the final on March 28.
The 15 men's and women's provincial teams will play one-day and T20 matches from January.
Meanwhile, Cricket South Africa remains hopeful they will receive government permission to host the England men's team for a white-ball series in December. The sports ministry and CSA are at loggerheads over different issues, most notably over CSA's transformation record and CSA's refusal to comply with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) that has instructed CSA's board and executive to stand down while it investigates its financial and administrative affairs.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent