Cape Town - Former Proteas star batsman AB de Villiers believes the Mzansi Super League (MSL) is vital as it will improve and provide depth in South African cricket.
The Proteas are in a sorry state after an innings and 202-run loss to India in Ranchi on Tuesday, which saw the Proteas whitewashed in the Test series 3-0.
South Africa have tasted defeat in five successive Test matches with their last win coming against Pakistan at the Wanderers in January 2019.
The likes of Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn have left Test cricket, while JP Duminy and Imran Tahir retired from one-day cricket, leaving the Proteas with a young team without much experience.
De Villiers' own retirement from international cricket in 2018 left a vacant role that the Proteas are still struggling to fill.
Once again, De Villiers will be the marquee player for the Tshwane Spartans in next month's MSL.
De Villiers, who led the team last year in the inaugural event, believes that this competition is exactly what South African cricket needs at the moment.
"The quality of cricket was probably the most impressive thing of the tournament (last year), there was high-standard of wickets and very competitive cricket," said De Villiers.
"A lot of youngsters came through, which in my opinion, is the aim of the tournament and that's to strengthen our cricket across South Africa and give youngsters the opportunity to mingle with some of the stars around the world."
Since the first edition of the competition, several players have made their mark on the international stage such as Anrich Nortje, Rassie van der Dussen, Lutho Sipamla and Bjorn Fortuin.
"With the MSL, we saw some youngsters come through and it was only the first year. I think it's going to get bigger and stronger," said De Villiers.
"Guys like Lutho Sipamla, Reeza (Hendricks), Rassie (van der Dussen) and a guy like Bjorn Fortuin, who had a opportunity recently, and George Linde... There's so many that all of a sudden appear on the big stage and when they get an opportunity on international level, they seem to be ready.
"They seem more mature than they supposed to be at a young age - certainly more than I was when I was young - so a tournament like this is incredible important for the strength and the depth of our cricket in South Africa."
The Mzansi Super League kicks off on Friday, November 8 as the defending champions Jozi Stars take on Cape Town Blitz at the Wanderers at 17:30.
Compiled by Lynn Butler