CSA announce new dates for 4-Day Franchise Series, provincial season

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Graeme Smith (Gallo)
Graeme Smith (Gallo)

Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced a host of new dates for the remainder of the 2020/21 season.

The 4-Day Franchise Series will resume on 7-10 March with a five-day final rescheduled for the last week in March.

Under the revised fixture list announced on Friday, the remaining two rounds of the first-class campaign will re-commence on 7-10 March and 16-19 March, followed by a five-day final scheduled for 25-29 March.

One match in each of those remaining rounds, including the title-decider, will be broadcast on SuperSport. 

The final will be contested by the two teams that finish top their respective pools, with the team with the highest number of points reserving the right to host the match at a venue of their choice.

The Knights currently top of Pool A and are front-runners to host the final; based on the 87.94 points they have accumulated thus far. Pool B is presently headed by the Titans, who have 75.58 points.

CSA also confirmed that last year's abandoned match between the Titans and Dolphins, due to a Covid-19 case, has been declared a draw with each team receiving six points in addition to any bonus points gained from their round five fixture as per the playing conditions.

CSA Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith, said: "We all know the problems that have been created by the pandemic this past season, so we are extremely happy that we have now confirmed all the outstanding matters relating to the first-class season.

"I am also pleased to announce that the Proteas will be available for the final two rounds, including the final. This will add further strength to the competition and create a unique scenario for our domestic game where our best international players will also be on show.

"It is yet another opportunity for the youngsters coming through the ranks to rub shoulders with the nationally contracted players, just like they will be doing in the T20 competition."

CSA also announced that the Provincial 3-Day and 1-Day Programme that will be combined into one solitary event with 16 teams split into four groups, who will each play each other in a bio-secure environment (BSE) based at different venues.

Pool A (Boland, Border, KwaZulu-Natal Coastal and South Western Districts) will be based in Paarl, Pool B (Free State, Easterns, KwaZulu-Natal Inland and Limpopo) will be situated in Bloemfontein, Pool C (Northern Cape, Western Province, Northerns and South Africa Under-19) will play out of Kimberley and Pool D (North West, Mpumalanga, Eastern Province and Central Gauteng Lions) will be located at Potchefstroom.

Matches will begin on 22 February and run through until 28 March.

Likewise, the Women's Provincial Programme, which is made up of 50-over cricket, will also take place in a BSE at four separate venues from 23 February to 3 March.

Pool A (Western Province, Central Gauteng Lions and Northerns) will be based in Cape Town, Pool B (North West, KZN Coastal and Border) will play in East London, Pool C (Boland, Eastern Province, Free State, Kei and South Western Districts) in Oudtshoorn and Pool D (Easterns, Northern Cape, KZN Inland, Limpopo and Mpumalanga) in Benoni.

"The amateur game has unfortunately bore the brunt of the pandemic due to all the regulations and risks involved," Smith added.

"It has been tough for all the unions, so we are hoping the programme arranged for these teams between now and the end of the season will at least give those involved something to look forward to.

"We have also included our SA U19s in the Senior Provincial Programme, together with affiliates Limpopo and Mpumalanga, so there will be opportunity for everyone as we try to satisfy all parties with a full schedule."

CSA 4-Day Franchise Fixtures: 

*Matches televised on SuperSport

7-10 March 2021 

Cape Cobras vs Warriors at Newlands, Cape Town 

Lions vs Dolphins at Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg 

*Titans vs Knights at SuperSport Park, Centurion 

16-19 March 2021 

Cape Cobras vs Knights at Newlands, Cape Town 

Warriors vs Dolphins at St George's Park Stadium, Port Elizabeth 

*Lions vs Titans at Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg

25-29 March 2021 

*Final

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