Mon, 26 Oct 2020

Mzansi Super League postponed due to Covid-19

29 Sep 2020, 04:10 GMT+10

Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Monday announced the postponement of this year's Mzansi Super League (MSL) due to the coronavirus pandemic.

CSA revealed that this year's third edition of the MSL was called off due to the caused by the Covid-19 crisis.

This year's third edition of the MSL has been postponed to November-December 2021.

"The impact of revised calendars for international cricket across all ICC Members and other T20 leagues, have had a knock-on effect on South African cricket scheduling," CSA's acting CEO Kugandrie Govender said via a press statement.

"The Covid-19 restrictions and uncertainty around international travel, including the state of control of South African borders, as well as border control at the country points of departure of international players, also compelled CSA to make this rational decision. Also, the unavailability of national players due to a revised and saturated season, would have diluted the quality that CSA envisions for MSL."

Govender added that CSA will stage a single-round domestic franchise T20 competition next year.

"As the T20 World Cup is scheduled to take place in India in October to November 2021, we understand the importance of providing domestic cricketers the opportunity to impress for selection... This will give players ample time to prepare and stadiums the chance to recover financially by welcoming fans back to support their favourite domestic players," Govender said.

According to the press release, CSA deliberated and came to the conclusion that its international broadcast revenue or earnings "could decrease" should this year's MSL take place without the Proteas or international superstars.

"It is unfortunate but unavoidable that we have had to take this decision but maintaining the high quality of cricket that we have seen in the first two editions of the MSL is a non-negotiable for CSA," Govender stated.

"The fact that we would have to play in empty grounds was another consideration, not only financially but also for player morale and team spirit, which links to fan support. The atmosphere and encouragement our fans have brought to first two editions have been significant and contributed incredibly to the MSL's success. We would not want to lose out on that or the opportunity to position the league as an important way to attract new fans to the game."

The MSL teams shared their disappointed but expressed their understanding and reaffirmed their commitment to the MSL when it resumes in 2021.

The Paarl Rocks are the reigning champions after winning the MSL title in 2019.

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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