By Brendon Atwell
Cricket South Africa (CSA) today unveiled the official name of the re-launched T20 league which will take place from 16 November 2018 to 16 December 2018. The new-look league, the Mzansi Super League (MSL) replaces the failed attempt at the T20 Global League that was abandoned due to financial worries which resulted in former CEO Haroon Lorgat being dumped by the organisation.
But CSA have tried to pull a rabbit out of a hat by launching this event in double-quick time and whether the event will be a success, remains to be seen after SuperSport pulled out of the arranged agreement, leading to CSA partnering up with the cash-strapped and embattled public broadcaster, the SABC.
“I would like to thank everyone involved in putting this milestone project together,” commented excited CSA Chief Executive, Thabang Moroe. “We look forward to welcoming, and being entertained by, some of the world’s best cricketers. We are also confident that the MSL will serve the dual objective of becoming a launchpad for our next generation of T20 talent.”
“The event tagline is ‘FUN. FAST. FOR ALL’ which speaks volumes about the competition’s concept as well as the unique Mzansi touch and appeal that we want to showcase to the world,” Moroe explained.
SABC Chief Operations Officer, Chris Maroleng, added a ringing endorsement: “We are proud to be a part of this venture as we continue giving fresh and new sporting content in line with our overall objective to be the broadcaster of choice for all audiences.”
“Our plans are well under way to make the MSL T20 the hottest sport spectacle this summer. South African audiences deserve the best sport content and this partnership with CSA is at the heart of our commitment to deliver this promise. We are putting together a world-class production that will showcase the expertise of the SABC to the rest of the world,” added Maroleng.
The concept behind the unique logo was based on CSA’s over-riding responsibility towards uniting the people of Mzansi (a proudly South African colloquialism that captures patriotism and the spirit of the country’s diverse race and culture) through the power of the game.MSL T20.
Tournament Director, Russell Adams, said: “This competition will be a combination of the game’s traditions as well as new-age elements such as the presence of personalities like we have never seen before…a feast of cricket and entertainment.“
“The solid tone of the logo speaks to a bond that we have as a nation, united through the strength of cricket. We want every South African to feel that they are a part of a league which celebrates our cultural diversity,” said Adams.
CSA announced on Thursday the six hosting venues for the event, with Boland Park in Paarl being a surprise. The winelands venue is joined by the Wanderers in Johannesburg, Supersport Park in Centurion, Kingsmead in Durban, St George’s Park in PE and the hallowed ground of Newlands in Cape Town.
The names of the six participating sides, the marquee Proteas players and headline international talent will form part of the competition Player Draft Matrix, which will be held on Monday, 15 October 2018.
“We can assure fans that the talent set to participate in the MSL T20 will be top-class, featuring our established Proteas alongside their international counterparts, while also showcasing our up-and-coming local talent. We invite all South Africans to come out in their numbers to be part of this dynamic and exciting addition to the South African sporting calendar,” added MSL T20 Playing Affairs Director, Corrie van Zyl.
South African cricket fans can only hope that the fridge is without eggs as the country cannot afford another egg-on-face situation as happened in 2017 – especially with the still-pending legal battles from 2017 in the background.
Fun. Fast. For All? #MSLT20…….I will reserve my judgement!