Sensational Paarl Rocks Attendance Sums up MSL 2.0 Success
The sensational atmosphere at the Eurolux Boland Park during the sold out Mzansi Super League (MSL) 2.0 final summed up some of the successes over the past five weeks as the second edition of the tournament concluded on Monday, 16th December 2019.
The Boland community - now popularly referred to as the Purple Army to mark the colours of their Paarl Rocks home team - captured the public imagination with their festive spirit and warm hospitality to all visitors as they showcased the Western Cape culture to the world.
Captain Faf du Plessis' led the Paarl Rocks, who were equally as captivating on the field of play as their Purple Army, to victory as they beat Tshwane Spartans in an entertaining final by 8 wickets and lifted the trophy as the 2019 MSL Champions.
"I would like to congratulate the Paarl Rocks team and their management for being able to draw such an enthusiastic local support that showcased lots of passion, local culture and warm hospitality as well as to the Spartans for beating off contention from the other four teams for a place in the final,” said Cricket South Africa's (CSA) Head of Events, Russell Adams.
"If the cricket world didn’t know of the Boland community from the Western Cape before, then they certainly do now with their enthusiastic support throughout this tournament. We would like to also thank the Drakenstein Local Municipality for how they welcomed the public to this successful tournament final that was sold out way in advance.”
The tournament began with an eight-city trophy tour that visited the Tshwane, Polokwane, Mbombela, eThekwini, Cape Town and Drakenstein Municipalities and preceded the tournament opening fixture between last year’s finalists, Jozi Stars and Cape Town Blitz, at Imperial Wanderers Stadium on 8 November 2019.
Outside of the spectacular fireworks displays and on-field fan activations such as the tournament was embraced by a number of top Mzansi celebs such as Maps Maponyane; Minnie Dlamini; AKA; Lasizwe; Yaaseen Barnes, Jean De Villiers; Siv Ngesi and Springbok captain Siya Kolisi who all attended various matches to be a part of and witness to the action-packed matches.
The second instalment of the MSL came with some good lessons, which will add to the success of the third edition of the tournament.
"There were definitely a number of fun and positive moments that came from this tournament for the spectators with a lot of improvement from the 2018 first edition," says Adams.
Some of the notably fun and quirky moments from this years’ tournament that got the world of cricket talking were:
- Paarl Rocks’ bowler, Tabraiz Shamsi’s bag of magic tricks, which included the magic wand that came out when celebrating a wicket.
- The emergence of two young Proteas prospects: Durban Heat explosive batsman Wihan Lubbe and Gregory Mahlokwana (Cape Town Blitz), the once-in-a-lifetime spinning sensation who bowls with both arms.
- Ben Dunk (Nelson Mandela Bay Giants) and his superb 99 not out that secured his team’s playoff berth in their penultimate round-robin fixture against Tshwane Spartans at St George’s Park. This was arguably the match of the tournament.
- Faf du Plessis’ famous explanation of why his newly-wed Rocks teammate Hardus Viljoen could not play in their last match of the round-robin stages because “he was in bed with my sister”. Viljoen married Du Plessis’ sister on the eve of their league match against the Giants.
"We may have lost out on a number of matches due to inclement weather, but I can safely say that from an operational perspective, we delivered a world-class tournament. I would also like to extend gratitude to all Cricket South Africa stakeholders, the different city Municipalities, sponsors and staff, as well as our partners in the South African Broadcast Corporation and Global Sports Commerce, for showcasing a quality television product,” concluded Adams.
© Cricket World 2019