Thursday evening will see the first match of Canada's Global T20 kicking off from King City, a ground that has a shaky history of low-slow wickets and drainage problems, but with some serious cash having been thrown at the venue in the last few weeks, all seems in readiness for what should be a stellar occasion.
By Jamie Lloyd
The long promised professional cricket league in Canada is finally here. With so many broken promises and false starts over the years it was inevitable that many cricket fans would display a certain level of cynicism when the Global T20 was announced to some fanfare a couple of months back. And many will still be waiting to witness the first ball themselves before they finally believe.
But the dream has come to fruition for Canadian cricket fans and players alike. Images posted all over social media last night of the opening ceremony, with superstars like David Warner, Steven Smith and Chris Gayle mixing it with the who’s who of Canadian cricket, confirm that it is happening for real this time. Thursday evening will see the first match kicking off from King City, a ground that has a shaky history of low-slow wickets and drainage problems, but with some serious cash having been thrown at the venue in the last few weeks, all seems in readiness for what should be a stellar occasion.
Six teams will do battle across 18 matches in a single round-robin format, with games slated to take place nearly every day from 28th June to 1th July. Double-headers will feature on the weekends, and on Canada Day - Monday 2nd July, with organisers hoping to attract big crowds on those days. The round robin will be proceeded by a 4 team, three match finals series, before the grand final on Sunday July 15th.
It’s fantastic to see some of the world’s best players heading to this part of the world for some serious cricket, but a lot of attention will also be focussed on the performance of the Canadian players, and the three US players snapped up in the draft.
US skipper Ibrahim Khaleel was drafted by the Montreal Tigers, however might struggle to get a game given Dinesh Ramdin has the wicketkeeper/batsman duties on lock for the hometown side.
Meanwhile the Winnipeg Hawks have snapped up two USA fast bowlers in Ali Khan and Kyle Phillip. Khan already has some pedigree on his side having dismissed Kumar Sangakarra with his very first ball in the Caribbean Premier League in 2017, whilst Philip will be an unknown quantity to many outside of Southern Florida. Both have a decent chance of gametime, with Dwayne Bravo, Fidel Edwards and Rayad Emrit the only other quick bowlers in the squad. Bravo is a lock to bowl his 4 overs in every match, but Edwards and Emrit are 36 and 37 years of age respectively, and will need to be managed throughout the tight schedule of games.
Cricket fans in Canada and the USA alike can watch the entire tournament free thanks to a joint promotion
being run by Hotstar and CricClubs. DreamCricket will provide coverage throughout the tournament as well.