'They've cracked it': Cricket world baffled by South Africa's new comp

South African cricket AB de Villiers is pictured during a press conference.
A somewhat confused AB de Villiers was wheeled out to explain South Africa's new '3TC' concept. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Cricket purists look away - South Africa has come up with a concept so baffling it may turn you off the sport altogether.

Cricket South Africa has been at the drawing board, working hard at a way to generate more interest in the game - but what they’ve managed to come up with has left even the country’s greatest cricketers scratching their heads.

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What they’ve dreamt up is ‘3TC’ - otherwise known as three team cricket.

Announcing their new format, an even more radical departure from the norm than ‘The Hundred’ which is set to debut in England, CSA enlisted the likes of AB de Villiers to explain the new format.

“Maybe it’ll make a lot of sense once we start, and just play?” a clearly confused de Villiers said - in CSA’s own video explaining the rules.

Under the 3TC format, three teams of eight players compete in a 36-over match, which is split into two halves.

Teams rotate between batting, fielding and remaining in the dugout in the first half, with the second half batting order determined by who scored the most runs in the first.

If it makes sense so far, brace yourself - it’s about the become a whole lot more complicated.

There’s a last man standing rule, allowing the last batsman each innings to carry on solo - but they can only score runs in even increments.

Each bowling team gets a new ball for their 12 overs, and bowlers can only send down three overs each.

The highest scoring team wins, with gold, silver and bronze to be awarded to each of the teams - and a gold medal super over in case to teams are tied at the end.

Bizarre new ‘3TC’ cricket concept leaves fans scratching heads

If the early response to three team cricket is anything to go by, the jury is still officially out among fans.

Most reacted with a general sense of bewilderment to Cricket South Africa’s bold new concept.

“I kept up for 21 seconds. Did anyone make it further?” wrote one fan re-tweeting CSA’s explanation of the rules.

“I have never understood anything less in my life,” comedy account The Grade Cricketer added.

Many others also weighed in on what was seen as a somewhat shambolic new code.