Cricket South Africa (CSA) has announced the cancellation of the Mzansi Super League (MSL), which was scheduled for February 2022, due to the pandemic.
Despite the tournament having secured an official sponsor, the organisation has claimed that COVID 19 has made hosting the league difficult mainly due to increased travel restrictions.
Pholetsi Moseki, Acting Chief Executive Officer at Cricket South Africa, commented: “The decision to cancel the 2021 edition of the MSL is meant to allow CSA and its strategic partners to revamp and review the tournament post-COVID 19 to regain its market and commercial position.
“For its purposes, the MSL slot will again be replaced by a domestic CSA T20 Challenge, featuring the eight Division 1 teams and this tournament will take place in February 2022.”
The announcement follows the discovery of the Omicron variant of the virus, and the bio-secure environment frustrations, fear of the new variant, and the weak Rand/US Dollar exchange rate have all been labelled as some of the main reasons why CSA has postponed.
This is the second edition of the tournament to be cancelled, as the 2020 edition was also postponed due to Coronavirus-related issues.
The CSA shared its disappointment in the situation, whilst regarding the MSL as a ‘premium global T20 competition’ to rival the likes of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and the Big Bash League (BBL).
“This was done to create a commercial vehicle to attract global and local sponsors as well as to drive interest in cricket amongst non-cricket fans in South Africa,” the CSA explained in a statement.
In 2018, the organisation first unveiled the name of its T20 league as the Mzansi Super League, with ‘Mzansi’ translating to ‘south’, but in colloquially refers to South Africa. This was categorised as a ‘local spin’ on the league after failing to first launch the year prior.