DURBAN – Cricket South Africa (CSA) have pressed on with their plans for a domestic T20 competition.
And the latest piece of the puzzle is the official name and logo, which were unveiled yesterday at the organisation’s head offices in Joburg.
The T20 Global League (T20GL) is no more, and all talk – in South Africa, at least – will now refer to the Mzansi Super League (MSL T20).
Quite what the half dozen disgruntled owners of the previous T20GL franchises will make of this all remains to be seen, but November 16 is set down to be the beginning of this new era.
The six franchise host venues were announced on Thursday; namely Joburg, Centurion, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Paarl and Cape Town.
The player auction follows on Wednesday October 17, and respective franchises are already in talks with coaches from around the world.
Everything is happening at a frenetic pace late in the piece, but CSA, under the tutelage of new chief executive Thabang Moroe, have been adamant that this tournament show must go on.
“I'd like to thank everyone involved in putting this milestone project together,” Moroe said yesterday.
“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 launch pad for our next generation of T20 talent.”
Tournament director Russell Adams, initially employed to take charge of the doomed T20GL, has also expressed his excitement ahead of what is being heralded as a new dawn for SA cricket.
“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,” Adams enthused.
“The solid tone of the logo speaks to a bond we have as a nation, united through cricket. We want every South African to feel they are a part of a league which celebrates our cultural diversity.”
SABC have thrown their weight behind it as the broadcast partner, even as they are embroiled in battles for the broadcast of other national sporting codes.
There is a lot riding on the success of this tournament, for all stakeholders.
On the back of last year’s failure to launch, there are plenty of naysayers primed for any hiccup.
The economy of false hope generated just 12 months ago means that every move will be scrutinised closer now.
On Monday, the Player Draft Matrix will see CSA showing their most crucial hand – the players from near and afar, who have thrown their weight behind the latest T20 option floating around world cricket.