MZANSI SUPER LEAGUE
Can Morgan ride to the rescue for battling Spartans?
England ODI and T20 captain Eoin Morgan is aware that he must hit the ground running during his Mzansi Super League (MSL) stint with the struggling Tshwane Spartans.
Morgan‚ who was unveiled by the Spartans on Tuesday at SuperSport Park in Centurion‚ admitted they must win at least three or all their remaining round robin matches to have a chance of making the playoffs.
“We need to win probably three if not all the four remaining matches to be in contention to qualify‚” he said.
“As an overseas player coming into any team‚ there is always that expectation to deliver but at the same time that makes it exciting.
“I hope I can contribute and to come back to a ground like this [SuperSport Park] where I have a lot of good memories is very pleasing.”
The Spartans started the season poorly by winning only two of their six matches so far and coach Mark Boucher and captain AB de Villiers will be looking at the experience of Morgan even though he has not seen much of the tournament.
“To be honest‚ I only caught the highlights‚” he said. “I have not been able to watch it live because when I was in Dubai it was not televised.
“But feedback from the players was positive.
“The real bonus is the exposure cricket is getting because it is on free to air. I mentioned the other day that the first weekend viewership was huge in comparison to the Ram Slam‚” he said‚ adding that he is looking forward to playing alongside De Villiers.
“He [De Villiers] is an incredible player and one of the best players of the generation‚” Morgan said. “I suppose that’s all I can say.
“He is an outstanding player and I am looking forward to playing with him.
“In terms of opening the batting‚ if there is a need I would be happy to open. I have opened before and I will do it if that’s what the team needed.”
Some of the positives for the tournament have been the impressive performances of young players such as Anrich Nortje‚ Lutho Sipamla and Marco Marais and Morgan said the competition will leave a good legacy.
“When you go to tournaments around the world you see local players coming through‚ it is great to see that this is happening in the first year.