With the first match scheduled to be played in just two weeks time, the organisers of the Euro T20 Slam have cancelled the inaugural edition of the tournament. It is expected that the organisers will look to play the first season in 2020.
The tournament was set to feature six teams, two each from Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands and run from August 30 to September 22.
It is to be noted that the organisers (Bombay Sports Limited and Woods Entertainment) are the same group that has been charge of the Global T20 Canada league, a tournament that has run into a lot of financial troubles which has included players not receiving their salaries on time.
No particular reason was given for the cancellation of the Euro T20 Slam but all possible signs point towards financial struggles.
Prashant Mishra, speaking on behalf of the Board of the Euro T20 Slam, said that staging of the event would not be possible this year.
“The Board of the Euro T20 Slam, funding partners and franchise owners of this exciting new T20 tournament have reluctantly come to the decision that staging of the event will not be possible in 2019,” Mishra said.
“We want to ensure that the inaugural staging of the Euro T20 Slam provides the best springboard to making this a truly flagship event on the global cricket calendar. As such, we believe the right course of action is to postpone the Slam to a further date. This will give us the necessary breathing space to ensure we are ready to go,” he was quoted as saying in a media release issued by the organisers.
Warren Deutrom, the chief executive of Cricket Ireland, said the board was "deeply disappointed".
"However, we fully empathise with the rationale that has led to the tournament's postponement," Deutrom said. "The excitement and energy that the Euro T20 Slam had generated since it was announced has demonstrated a high level of interest amongst the Irish public in seeing world-class cricket hosted here in Ireland. We hope that the interest will carry on until 2020 when the Slam will finally get underway.
"We will continue to engage with the event organisers to ensure all commitments are met to their fullest extent, including any receivables owing to Cricket Ireland itself. We will additionally be seeking increased comfort that the organisers will be able to avoid a repeat of this year's challenges in future editions."
Malcolm Cannon, the chief executive of Cricket Scotland, said: "While this was a very difficult decision to make at this late stage, we believe that it is the right one and one which leaves us with a great opportunity to launch the Euro T20 Slam next year with its deserved noise level."
Betty Timmer, chair of the KNCB, said: "It is extremely disappointing that the Euro T20 Slam is not going ahead in 2019. With the scheduled opening games only two weeks away the KNCB was looking forward to this exciting new event that would have brought cricket much closer to the Dutch fans."
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