Mzansi Super League draft completed
The long-awaited Mzansi Super League, the new domestic T20 competition set to kick off in South Africa in November, has finally confirmed the names which will suit up for its inaugural season, after the draft was held earlier this week. Unsurprisingly, South Africa players dominate the team rosters, which is not in itself a bad thing at all - these names include the likes of Faf du Pleases, Quinton de Kock, Dale Steyn, Hashim Amla, Kyle Abbott, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, and AB de Villiers.
A number of the international names are the usual suspects, those who have been popping up in various T20 leagues around the world. One of the most prominent of these is Chris Gayle. The big-hitting West Indian will bring plenty of fans through the gates, with his ability to take the game away from a side in a whirlwind of power hitting arguably unparalleled around the globe. He will suit up for the Jozi Stars alongside Rabada and fellow international recruit, Dan Christian.
Rashid Khan will also make an appearance at the event, with the extremely talented leg spinner from Afghanistan being purchased by the Durban Heat for roughly USD $70,000. Khan has demonstrated his prowess both Internationally - where he averages 12.4 at a fantastic strike rate of 6.01 in T20I’s and 14.47 with a strike rate of just 3.9 in ODI’s - and domestically, where he made a name for himself playing for the Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League. He will form one half of Durban’s spin-bowling duo, playing alongside Keshav Maharaj.
Dwayne Bravo will add a little more West Indian flair to the tournament after the all-rounder was bought by the Paarl Rocks. Bravo, a middle-order batsman capable of getting on a serious role and a talented bowler, is also renowned for his post-wicket celebrations, and will be another player capable of drawing a crowd. He will play alongside Faf du Plessis and fellow celebrator Tabraiz Shamsi.
English one-day captain Eoin Morgan will be another to add to the depth of international talent which will be present at the event. The 32 year old has an impressive short form resume, having notched up 212 ODI’s and 76 T20I’s in his career. In the shortest format of the game he has averaged 28.71 at the international level, scoring his runs at the impressive strike rate of 131.52. He will play alongside AB de Villiers for the Tshwane Spartans in what will no doubt be an exciting batting lineup.
Finally, English duo Dawid Malan and Jason Roy will suit up for the Cape Town Blitz and the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants respectively. Malan, aged 31, only debuted for the English T20I side in 2017 and has played just five matches, but incredibly has scored a half century on four of those occasions, averaging exactly 50.00 at the extraordinary strike rate of 150.60. Jason Roy has a little more international experience, having played 31 matches at the level, and though his average is just 21.74 his strike rate of 141.59 highlights the explosive nature of his batting.
In its first incarnation, the Mzansi Super League doesn’t have near the level of talent present in some of the top T20 leagues around the world, though that is hardly a surprise at this point. There are still more than enough talented and entertaining players, particularly given the depth of South African cricket, to ensure that it will be an enjoyable tournament worth tuning in to. It might not be the Indian Premier League, but Cricket South Africa will no doubt be delighted that the tournament is finally ready to get underway.