GlobalT20: All you need to know about Canada's new T20 tournament
Joining the influx of franchise leagues all over the globe, Canada has now hopped on the bandwagon as Cricket Canada announced the return of cricket to the country by launching their t20 tournament named Global T20 Canada. The announcement is bound to create a stir, given Canada's ancient cricketing history and from the fans' perspective as well.
Among the ten marquee players announced to take things off, Steve Smith is the name that pops out in the list. This will mark his return to competitive cricket after Cricket Australia imposed a year each and a nine-month ban on him, David Warner, and Cameron Bancroft respectively, in the wake of the ball-tampering saga on Australia's recent ill-fated tour of South Africa.
While Smith's ban was limited only to international cricket and domestic cricket played in Australia, cricket boards across the world are not too keen on associating themselves with the banned players, as seen from the IPL franchises suspending Smith and Warner while Bancroft was released from Somerset's squad in the Natwest T20 Blast.
Among other players joining Smith as the premium cricketers listed in the initial draft will be the likes of Dwayne Bravo, Pakistani legend Shahid Afridi, and perhaps the hottest property in T20 cricket lately due to his newfound batting expertise, Sunil Narine.
The league comprises five Canadian teams and a West Indian representative team, made up entirely of players from the Caribbean islands. The allotment of players to the franchises will be determined in an event next week.
The primary reason for the introduction of this competition is to inculcate a young generation of players and officials to build up the integral longevity that is much required for the sustenance and prospering of cricket in the country.
The six teams in the proposed tournament are the Caribbean All-Stars, Toronto Nationals, Montreal Tigers, Ottawa Royals, Vancouver Knights, and Winnipeg Hawks.
In course of two weeks and four days, running from June 28 to July 16, twenty-two matches will be played at the Maple Leaf Cricket Club in Toronto. The newly renovated ground now has an increased seating capacity of 7,000.
Dave Cameron, the Windies Cricket Board President was full of optimism about the inclusion of a regional team.
“I would like to wish Global T20 Canada much success. The growth of our region will largely depend on the success of leagues and tournaments like this. We look forward to working even closer going forward, so congratulations to Cricket Canada and Mercuri Group," he said.
“Global T20 Canada marks the first time a nation with Associate member status is launching a league — a major step forward in cricket’s global development,” said Ranjit Saini, President of Cricket Canada, who was quoted at the launch of the league.
"Canadian cricket fans will have a great opportunity to see up close many of the world’s greatest players, and I’d like to thank International Cricket Council, CWI and the international cricket community for their guidance and support in growing cricket in Canada,” concluded Saini.