Cricket South Africa (CSA) has announced that they will decide that they will take a final call on the third edition of the Mzansi Super League (MSL) 2020 by the mid of August.
For now, the League is planned to be played in the usual November-December window but it might get deferred to put up some international cricket at home in the impending season.
There are three main factors being looked at: whether international travel will be permitted if there are sufficient time and appetite to secure a sponsor and broadcast deal, and if spectators will be allowed into stadiums.
“There is still a lot of uncertainty with the coronavirus pandemic and we need to be careful before we announce that something will happen and then we may have to postpone it,” ESPNcricinfo quoted CSA’s acting chief executive, Dr Jacques Faul, as saying.
“To host the MSL, we probably need international travel to be permitted. And we can’t start looking for a sponsor or trying to secure a broadcaster until we know when we will be hosting it,” he added.
Even though the MSL does not appeal the same profile of players as the IPL, there is still a substantial overseas contingent. In the preceding years, the league has included the likes of Chris Gayle, Alex Hales and Wahab Riaz, who may not be able to return unless borders open.
Playing the MSL without overseas players could significantly reduce its value as a product, which would doubtless affect any potential corporate partners CSA may hope to attract.
Presently, South Africa’s borders continue to be closed across both international and provincial lines – as the country heads towards its COVID-19 pandemic peak.