The first winners
The 2018 MSL, the first one of its kind, saw Cape Town Blitz, Jozi Stars and Paarl Rocks finish one, two and three respectively at the conclusion of round robin stage.
Cape Town, on the base of their top finish, went straight to the final. Meanwhile, the single-match playoffs became zero-match playoffs as the eliminator between Jozi Stars and Paarl Rocks was washed out due to rain. Jozi Stars were given the final berth on account of them having finished second in the round robin stage.
In the final, Jozi Stars dominated, beating Cape Town by seven wickets to become the first-ever MSL champions.
The MSL, despite a sizable foreign interest at draft time, saw its franchises use more local talent than outsiders. It is why the runs and wickets charts were full of local talent, with the only foreigner to crack either chart’s top 5 being Spartans’ Jeevan Mendis from Sri Lanka. He was the second-highest wicket taker of the tournament behind Duanne Oliver (20 wickets).
Jozi Stars’ Rassie van der Dussen, meanwhile, finished as the highest scorer, with 469 runs to his name.
The 2019 MSL was a nightmare tournament for defending champions Jozi Stars. They failed to win any of their 10 matches, of which three were abandoned.
Talking about abandonments, the MSL 2019 was severely affected by rain, with as many as eight matches washed out. No other tournament in recent history has had such an experience.
As Jozi Stars remained winless and finished last, their fellow 2018 finalists, Cape Town Blitz, also missed out on the playoff, finishing just one place above.
Paarl Rocks, thanks to their top position, went straight to the final, whereas Tshwane Spartans beat Nelson Mandela Bay Giants in the eliminator.
The final was one-sided as the Rocks triumphed and took the crown from 2018 champs Jozi Stars.
The 2020 tournament was scrapped due to Covid-19 but the MSL is set to return later this year.