West Indians Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo as well as New Zealander Brendon McCullum are three of the exciting international players listed to participate in the first-ever Cricket Canada’s maiden Global T20 tournament to be played here in July.
The three-week tournament, which is scheduled to commence on August 8, has been given the green light by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and will be played at three venues across Toronto. The three venues earmarked are Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club, Sunnybrook Park and Maple Leaf Cricket Club.
According to a media release, the league has been conceptualised, designed, developed and managed by Mercuri Talent Management Pvt Ltd, an Indian company, with Cricket Canada, the official governing body for the sport in the country. The two have entered into a 25-year Master Licensing Agreement which covers not just the Global T20 Canada, but also investment in developing the grassroots for the sport in the country.
With this announcement Cricket Canada becomes the first Associate member of the ICC to set in motion a Twenty20 franchise league in the lucrative North America market. According to Cricket Canada, president Ranjit Saini, “Twenty20 Major League Cricket has the potential to change Canadian cricket forever. It is a great challenge and Cricket Canada is ready to deliver a resounding success.
Each 15-man squad will consist of four Canadian local players with players expected from West Indies, Pakistan and New Zealand.
Saini also pointed out that it has not been decided if the league will have an auction system with a salary cap or a draft, but that one of the six teams will be made entirely of West Indian overseas players.
“The West Indies is a sponsor of the league,” Saini said. “The ICC approval is based on Full Member participation so one team will be a West Indian team.”
The tournament has also had the blessings of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who participated in a promotional cricket event at a school in Delhi, India during a recent visit there.