Name of South African T20 League officially revealed
South Africa’s domestic T20 league, having been cancelled last year and still in limbo for much of this year, has finally been given its official name. The league will be known as the Mzansi Super League (MSL), announced Cricket South Africa earlier this week.
The name comes after CSA noted its desire to give the league a name which was uniquely South Africa a few days ago. Mzansi is an isiXhosan - one of the official languages of South Africa - word, which literally means ‘south’ and is colloquially used to refer to the country itself.
The announcement adds to further information released about the MSL earlier this week, something which has been eagerly anticipated for virtually a year after the league was first confirmed, and then cancelled in 2017. On Thursday, the CSA announced the stadiums which will host the six teams which will play; Wanderers, Kingsmead, Newlands, SuperSport Park, St. George’s Park and Boland Park.
Finally, the tagline of the league was also released alongside the release of its name - ‘FUN. FAST. FOR ALL’ will be seen throughout the tournament, something ‘which speaks volumes about the competition’s concept,’ according to CSA chief executive Thabang Moroe.
The inaugural MSL will be broadcast live and exclusively by public broadcaster South African Broadcasting Corporation, who gained access to the rights in what was a long and drawn out process, and which was a major reason for the cancellation of last year’s league and this year’s uncertainty.
For the time being, the teams who will participate in the league as well as the players that make up those teams are yet to be determined. We won’t have to wait long, however, with those details set to be released on October 15 at the Player Draft Matrix. If last year’s teams, which were chosen prior to the cancellation of the event, are anything to go by, we can expect to see some serious talent here - unsurprising given the depth and quality of South African cricket.
The league itself will run over a one month period, kicking off on November 16 and finishing on December 16. This isn’t a clash-free window, but in what is becoming an increasingly populated cricket calendar, it’s about as close as a new league can hope for. South Africa’s tour of Australia wraps up with a T20I on November 17, meaning International players will be likely forced to miss at least the opening match, while the Abu Dhabi T10 League, running over an 11 day period in late November and early December, will also impact on a few.
The organisation of this league will likely come as an enormous relief to CSA, who no doubt suffered a fair degree of embarrassment with the way the now over one year long lead up to its commencement played out. With the broadcasters, the dates, the stadiums and the name sorted, all that remains is to select the teams in what will no doubt be an intriguing draft day this coming Monday.