South African batting star AB de Villiers was on Monday named among 12 leading players for South Africa’s new Mzansi Super League Twenty20 tournament.
Six South African and six overseas players were named as marquee players at a Cricket South Africa media briefing. Six teams will be competing for their services in a draft in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
England one-day captain Eoin Morgan and fellow England players Jason Roy and Dawid Malan will join West Indians Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo and Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan as the leading overseas players.
De Villiers, who retired from international cricket earlier this year, heads the list of designated South African players. The others are national captain Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir.
The league, named after a colloquial term for South Africa, will run from November 15 to December 16.
The names of six teams and their home venues were announced at Monday’s briefing. They are: Cape Town Blitz, Durban Heat, Jozi Stars (Johannesburg), Nelson Mandela Bay Giants (Port Elizabeth), Paarl Rocks and Tshwane Spartans (Centurion).
Cricket South Africa chief executive Thabang Moroe said there had been a big response from players from around the world who wanted to be included in the league.
“We have received applications from over 200 top international players who expressed interest in playing in this inaugural tournament and will have their names in the hat ahead of the player draft process,” said Moroe.
South Africa’s first attempt at staging a major Twenty20 tournament collapsed in 2017, leading to the axing of then chief executive Haroon Lorgat and a loss of an estimated $14 million.
It appeared doubtful that the concept would be revived in time for the current season before CSA announced on September 8 that it would go ahead.
South Africa’s national broadcaster, SABC, has been granted the rights to televise the tournament.