Tue, 15 Oct 2019

Good and bad news for Mzansi Super League

16 Oct 2018, 18:37 GMT+10

Cape Town - The ball is finally rolling on South Africa's very own international T20 competition, which has now been called the Mzansi Super League.

Following the embarrassment of 2017's failed T20 Global League, it seemed that Cricket South Africa (CSA) was on course for another failed attempt at launching the product in 2018.

But, with time almost up, they seem to have pulled a rabbit out of the hat and the tournament now looks good to go on November 16.

A broadcaster is on board, the franchises and host cities have been announced and we now know who the players are that will be featuring.

Six marquee Proteas have been assigned franchises already, while there are also six international marquee players who will form the first round of Wednesday's player draft in Johannesburg.

Then, on Tuesday, CSA released the names of every other player to be included in the draft.

While there is certainly not the star power of the IPL, there is more than enough to be excited about, especially considering this is the first year of the tournament.

West Indies stars Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo, Afghanistan spin sensation Rasheed Khan and the England trio of Jason Roy, Dawid Malan and Eoin Morgan are the international marquee players, but a look through the other players available suggests there will be some quality T20 cricket on offer.

Mohammad Ashraful, Mohammad Shahzad, Dwayne Smith, Upul Tharanga, Sam Billings, Colin Munroe, Brendan Taylor, Dan Christian, Asela Gunaratne, Chris Jordan, Marlon Samuels, Shoaib Malik, Jade Dernbach, Fidel Edwards, Mohammad Irfan, Jerome Taylor, Samuel Badree and Jeetan Patel are some of the bigger international players available.

There is also good news on the local front, where all the current crop of Proteas as well as some of the country's Kolpak stars are available.

It means that Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander will be signed on Wednesday, while the likes of Kyle Abbott, Rilee Rossouw, Cameron Delport, Heino Kuhn, Dane Vilas, Wayne Parnell, David Wiese, Marchant de Lange, Hardus Viljoen and Simon Harmer are all on the list.

That is the good news.

The bad news, however, is that there will be a lot of disruption with many of the bigger names unable to commit for the entire tournament.

The Kolpak players, with the exception of Parnell and Rossouw, are all good to go and have no other commitments.

The Proteas, though, are in Australia for three ODIs and a T20I from November 4-17.

With the Mzansi Super League taking place from November 16 to December 16, that tour is not the end of the world.

A look at the availability of some of the overseas-based players, however, is more concerning.

In fact, none of the six international marquee players will be available for the entirety of the tournament.

Gayle, Roy, Morgan and Khan will be available for less than two weeks at the business end of the competition from December 4-16 due to a combination of international commitments and their involvement in the Abu Dhabi T10.

Malan and Bravo, meanwhile, will only be available either side of the Abu Dhabi T10 competition which takes place from November 23 to December 2.

It is obviously not ideal having players coming and going, but the overwhelming positive is that this will not be a glorified domestic competition.

Wednesday's draft will start at 10:00.

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