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News

Mzansi Super League 2021 cancelled amid Covid-19 concerns

The domestic CSA T20 Challenge will be played instead of the MSL in the February slot

The Mzansi Super League, which was scheduled for February 2022, has been cancelled  •  MSL

The Mzansi Super League, which was scheduled for February 2022, has been cancelled  •  MSL

The 2021 edition of the Mzansi Super League (MSL), which was scheduled to be played in February 2022, has been cancelled owing to Covid-19 concerns in South Africa. A CSA statement said that the discovery of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 has "made it difficult to maintain the brand proposition of being the premium international T20 tournament, due to increased travel restrictions as imposed by many nations on South Africa".
Pholetsi Moseki, CSA's acting CEO, confirmed that the CSA T20 Challenge would be played instead of the MSL in that slot in February.
"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," Moseki said. "For its purposes, the MSL slot will again be replaced by a domestic CSA T20 Challenge, featuring the 8 (eight) Division 1 teams and this tournament will take place in February 2022."
The T20 league was played in 2018 and 2019 but was called off in 2020 because of logistical challenges posed by the pandemic. It was converted into a domestic T20 competition - played among eight top-tier teams - starting this season.
Paarl Rocks are currently the defending MSL champions, while Lions beat Dolphins to become the domestic T20 champions in the 2020-21 domestic competition.
On Sunday, ESPNcricinfo reported that the final round of matches in the four-day franchise series have been postponed and would be rescheduled in 2022.
So far this season, domestic cricket has not been played in biosecure bubble environments, but ESPNcricinfo understands that this would change for the one-day and T20 competitions. Last summer, both white-ball tournaments took place in biosecure conditions.
South Africa is currently in a fourth wave of the pandemic, which accompanied the discovery of the Omicron variant last month. Cases peaked at over 26,000 earlier in the week, but the number is now on the decline. The country, however, remains at alert level one of five, with the least stringent restrictions since the start of the pandemic last year.