Cricket South Africa’s Acting CEO on Thursday stated that the chances of a normal upcoming 2020-21 season will be unlikely, given the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Faul was addressing journalists, via a tele conference, when he said CSA approved a ‘four-pillar strategy’ on May 15th to help cricket with a way forward in terms of domestic and international matches.
One such strategy is to create an adjusted domestic season with the main focus on ensuring the Mzansi Super League goes ahead with fans present.
That could, however, result in the third edition of the competition to be moved to next year as it remains unlikely that spectators will be allowed at sports events for the remainder of the year.
‘The unlikeliest scenario is that the season will start as normal. The second one is that we only have half a season. As the scenarios unfold and we get more clarity. One of the likely scenarios we are planning for is half a season, so January onwards, and hopefully the MSL at the start,’ Faul said.
‘I’m not sure it would make sense behind closed doors. It could be a restricted audience and the capacity will be lower so that we can guarantee social distancing but it will need to be government approved and we would need to look at the cost factor of it and the risks.
‘And that would only be around November or December. I can’t see it happening earlier, but the MSL would have been scheduled for that period anyway,’ added Faul.
Recent reports indicated that CSA is looking to expand the MSL from six teams to eight, while they are also negotiating with SuperSport to buy the broadcasting rights for the event after giving them for free to SABC in the opening two years, following contract battles between CSA and SuperSport.
Should the MSL be postponed to next year then it could also intervene with the international schedule as there is a ‘very good chance,’ according to Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith, that this year’s T20 World Cup could also be postponed to early 2021.
‘If it does get postponed, we’re looking at February or March next year,’ Smith said.