Old Guns Prove their Worth in Mzansi Super League

Fielder throws cricket ball in
The inaugural season of the Mzansi Super League has demonstrated the value of having veteran campaigners in a squad for any competition.

Time and again throughout the tournament the veterans came to the fore to produce match-winning displays, whether it was Albie Morkel for the Durban Heat or Henry Davids for the Paarl Rocks and other.

Of course, AB de Villiers also had a decent tournament, but despite his international retirement at 34 he might baulk at being called an old hand. Young players have also had their moments to shine and the current crop have, for the most part, impressed. But the veterans have been good in the clutch moments.

Morkel's unbeaten half-ton in the Heat's win over the Spartans was the latest example of a string of top displays. Morkel wasn't able to get the Heat to the play-offs, but his knowledge of the game and calming influence were clear to see at the Durban franchise. Another old hand, opener Morne van Wyk ended as the Heat's leading run-scorer.

The Spartans were greatly assisted by being able to call on the services of 35-year-old Jeevan Mendis of Sri Lanka. He bagged 16 wickets in nine matches for the Centurion-based franchise.

The Cape Town Blitz enjoy a good balance among their bowlers, with the experience of Dale Steyn and Malusi Siboto no doubt of great assistance to the younger players in the league leaders' set-up.

Of course, this is nothing new in T20 tournaments around the world, where we have seen players who some might feel are past their prime putting in match and even tournament-winning displays. Kevin Pietersen had a number of very good seasons in the Big Bash League and Aussie fast bowler Mitchell Johnson enjoyed such good form there were thoughts of him earning a T20 recall just before he announced his complete retirement from the game.

Shane Watson continues to torture bowling attacks with his brutal batting supplemented by handy fast-medium bowling. He played a big role in the Chennai Super Kings' Indian Premier League win earlier this year.

With T20 franchises always on the hunt for the next big thing, some may forget what the old guard have to offer, but do so at their peril.

Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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