Mzansi League is push­ing the game to new heights

Sunday Tribune - - NEWS - THAHIR ASMAL

THE Mzansi Su­per League has cap­tured the at­ten­tion of cricket-lov­ing South Africans in a way that do­mes­tic cricket has strug­gled to do in re­cent years.

It’s a prod­uct that bat­tled to get off the ground last year but, with stur­dier hands from Cricket SA, this time round we have a lift-off.

All six teams are laden with star in­ter­na­tional play­ers from around the world but what has been en­cour­ag­ing is that lo­cals have been the stand-out play­ers thus far.

Reeza Hen­dricks is the lead­ing run­scorer and Sri Lankan spin­ner Jee­van Mendis is the high­est wicket-taker, but the re­main­ing spots among the top five are oc­cu­pied by South Africans.

Hol­ly­wood­bets Dolphins all-rounder Senu­ran Muthusamy says the league is ex­actly what the sport needed.

“I think it’s been great. I think South African cricket has been long­ing for this sort of thing, and I’m happy that it has got off the ground,” he said.

“The tour­na­ment is gain­ing mo­men­tum, view­er­ship and a fol­low­ing. Best of all is that peo­ple who don’t nor­mally fol­low cricket are now in­ter­ested.

“With the ac­tion be­ing broad­cast on SABC, it is reach­ing a broader au­di­ence and that is great for the de­vel­op­ment of the lo­cal game.”

Muthusamy ad­mit­ted to be­ing dis­mayed when he went un­picked dur­ing the player draft process. He was the Dolphins’ most con­sis­tent player across all for­mats last sea­son and even landed their Player of the Year award.

“I was very dis­ap­pointed not to get picked up, but as des­tiny would have it I in­jured my fin­ger two weeks later.

“It is good to see play­ers that I play with in ac­tion. It is also a chance for them to get ex­po­sure and to work with in­ter­na­tion­als.”

As a teenager, Muthusamy spent many af­ter­noons watch­ing his heroes play fran­chise cricket at Kingsmead. Last week, he pre­sented new caps to the KZN Coastal team that will do bat­tle in the up­com­ing Coca-cola Khaya Ma­jola Week.

He be­lieves the Mzansi Su­per League will in­spire young crick­eters.

“I would have loved to have grown up with some­thing like this.

“I’m sure it means a lot to them to see their lo­cal heroes (in ac­tion) and I know it is some­thing they will as­pire to,” he said.

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