With a squad headlined by the returning AB de Villiers, Tshwane Spartans' batting really packs a punch. They also have Eoin Morgan (strike rate 127.84), Theunis de Bruyn (127.34), Robbie Frylinck (148.22), Rory Kleinveldt (151.25), and Rilee Rossouw (131.21) in their squad.
De Villiers will captain the team, who start their campaign with three games on the road before they make their SuperSport Park debut against Nelson Mandela Bay Giants on November 25. De Villiers has a reliable pace spearhead in Lungi Ngidi, and Tshwane Spartans also have great depth in their allrounders. Jeevan Mendis, Sikandar Raza and Sean Williams will contribute with the bat and as spinners, while Frylinck and Kleinveldt will back up Ngidi in the pace department.
Cape Town Blitz
Captained by Farhaan Behardien, Cape Town Blitz might have the two fastest bowlers in the competition at their disposal. Dale Steyn has shown that he has lost none of his pace or bite since his return to white-ball cricket with South Africa, and he is likely to share the early bowling duties with Anrich Nortje. Nortje certainly impressed Dawid Malan, who said: "Just watching [Anrich] Nortje bowling, he bowled at the speed of lightning, that was pretty scary."
Malan will slot into the Blitz top order, as will Quinton de Kock. Cape Town Blitz have also enlisted the big-hitting Asif Ali, and while he is away at the Sharjah T10 tournament, allrounder Mohammad Nawaz will fill in. Most of the Blitz squad comes from the Cape Cobras franchise, so they will know their conditions well, while the presence of Andile Phehlukwayo means they will also have pace options at the death.
The Paarl Rocks squad will be built around Faf du Plessis and Dwayne Bravo. The two know each other's games extremely well from their time together with Chennai Super Kings at the IPL, and are both match-winners in their own right. As captain, du Plessis will be able to call on Bravo when things get tight in the latter overs, while Tabraiz Shamsi and Dane Paterson add variety to the attack.
Cameron Delport, another T20 journeyman, will bring a wealth of experience to their middle order, as will Michael Klinger. The Rocks will also have Aiden Markram coming in at the top of the order, and Mangaliso Mosehle with the gloves. While they will play their home games at the smallest ground in the tournament - Boland Park - Paarl Rocks should get good support from the local student population, with several universities close by. They could be the tournament's dark horses.
Nelson Mandela Bay Giants
Spin will play an important role for the coastal teams. The ball doesn't fly quite as fast or as far down at the coast as it does in the Highveld, and pitches that can play a little on the slow side often help the spinners. As such, Nelson Mandela Bay Giants have enlisted both Imran Tahir and Aaron Phangiso, and they will probably both play in all of their home games.
Aside from their strength in spin, Giants will have boundary-hitting ability at the top of the order in Jason Roy and the lower middle order with Chris Morris. Morris will also have a role to play with the ball, alongside Junior Dala. They will be captained by the homegrown Jon-Jon Smuts, who comes from the Eastern Cape and will know the conditions at St George's Park intimately.
Like the Giants, Durban Heat made sure they had their spin options covered. Durban Heat landed up with the very first choice in the international marquee player draw, and quickly chose Rashid Khan. Rashid has never played T20 cricket in South Africa before, but as the world's leading T20 bowler his reputation precedes him. The Heat also have young Zimbabwean legspinner Brandon Mavuta in their stable, as well as Keshav Maharaj, who may well look to use the Mzansi Super League as a springboard for his white-ball aspirations ahead of the 2019 World Cup.
Durban Heat's middle order is packed with international experience, with David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen, Temba Bavuma and Khaya Zondo all part of their squad, while they also have Kyle Abbott and Vernon Philander to call upon with the ball.
The Wanderers' 'Bullring' moniker is well earned, and if Jozi Stars can attract a capacity crowd of 34,000, their home support could play a big role. Jozi Stars certainly have firepower with the bat and ball to give them something to cheer about.
Chris Gayle, the first man to 12,000 T20 runs, struck the first international T20 hundred at the Wanderers 11 years ago, ushering in the modern age of batting, and he will return to the ground where it all started to open the batting for Jozi Stars. He will open alongside Reeza Hendricks, while Rassie van der Dussen and Dan Christian will bring some dynamism to the middle order. Kagiso Rabada will lead their pace attack, which also includes the rapid Beuran Hendricks.