Monday, 28 September 2020 20:40

Photo Credit:CSA.

South Africa's Mzansi Super League (MSL), the flagship T20 tournament in the country in 2018 and 2019, will not take place this year.

CSA said in a statement said that "various national and international logistical reasons caused by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic" have forced the postponement of the tournament by a year - it will now be played in November-December 2021.

CSA’s acting CEO, Kugandrie Govender says the decision to postpone South Africa’s premier T20 tournament is due to various national and international logistical reasons caused by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"As the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is scheduled to take place in India from October to November 2021, we understand the importance of providing domestic cricketers the opportunity to impress for selection. Therefore, in lieu of the MSL T20, CSA will stage a single-round domestic franchise T20 competition early next year. 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," says Govender.

In recognition of its importance, CSA will schedule this competition in a congested second half of the 2020/21 season.

"The 2020/2021 global cricket calendar will be jam-packed, appreciating the ICC’s efforts to fit as many missed international tours due to Covid-19, into this period. 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.

"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," continues Govender.

The combined effects of restrictions on international travel and in-stadia attendance, as well as the absence of a broadcast and sponsorship deal, forced CSA's hand when it came to staging the MSL this year.

While the CSA statement said that the competition's "headline sponsor" was disappointed the tournament was not going ahead, no sponsor has been named yet, and the MSL was played without one in its previous two editions.

CSA with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, who want the CSA Board and Executive to step aside nor be given full access to the forensic report that CSA used to fire former CEO Thabang Moroe. CSA has refused on both counts.