Cricket South Africa have moved the third edition of the Mzansi Super League to next year. It was scheduled to be played later this year.
CSA acting chief executive officer Kugandri Govender confirmed the change on Monday.
“As the T20 World Cup is scheduled to take place in India in October to November 2021, we understand the importance of providing domestic cricketers the opportunity to impress for selection,” said CSA acting chief executive officer Kugandrie Govender.
“Therefore, in lieu of the MSL, CSA will stage a single-round domestic franchise T20 competition early next year. The MSL can take place in November-December 2021.
“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.”
The Paarl Rocks are the reigning champions. The Jozi Stars won the first MSL in 2018. The tournament has hosted several international players, including West Indian batsman Chris Gayle, Sri Lanka all-rounder Isuru Udana and others.
MSL stars in the IPL
Gayle and Udana are currently playing in the 2020 Indian Premier League, alongside South African stars AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock and more. The IPL 2020 is being played in the United Arab Emirates, without spectators, as a preventative measure against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The 2020-21 global cricket calendar will be jampacked, appreciating the International Cricket Council's efforts to fit as many missed international tours due to the coronavirus pandemic, into this period,” added Govender.
“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.
“It is unfortunate but unavoidable that we have had to take this decision, but maintaining the high quality of cricket that we have seen in the first two editions of the MSL is a non-negotiable for CSA.”