TORONTO, Canada – The inaugural runners-up in last year’s Global T20 Canada will be a no-show when this year’s tournament bowls off here on July 25.
According to a release from the organisers, West Indies B, who lost to the Chris Gayle-led Vancouver Knights in last year’s final played at the Maple Leaf Cricket Club (MLCC) ground, will not be participating in the annual showpiece.
Tournament director Jason Harper did not give any reason for the non-participation of West Indies B but told reporters that an unnamed franchise will replace the regional side.
West Indies B’s withdrawal can be seen as a major surprise after Cricket West Indies (CWI) and Cricket Canada “agreed to generate a new expanded partnership in the forthcoming months that will see more collaboration and participation of players and administrators in cricket, at CWI and Cricket Canada events,” a recent joint release from the two bodies pointed out.
The release followed a visit by Cricket Canada president Ranjit Saini to Antigua where he was hosted at a dinner meeting by CWI president Ricky Skerritt then met with Chief Executive Officer Johnny Grave to update the existing Memorandum of Understanding, “designed to strengthen partnerships between both cricket organisations.”
The organisers also announced that the tournament has been shifted from the MLCC ground in Mississauga to a new venue in the city of Brampton but the exact location is still to be determined.
The release pointed out that ‘after completing its inaugural season in King City in 2018, Bombay Sports Company Ltd formally Mercuri Canada, the league organisers evaluated the impact of hosting the event in a more central location and listened to the feedback of the cricket fans.”
The organisers further disclosed that “in collaboration with the City of Brampton and Mayor Patrick Brown the decision was taken to move the 2019 edition to west of Toronto and into the heart of the cricket-loving community from July 25 to August 11, 2019.”
A staunch cricket fan, Brampton’s mayor Patrick Brown was delighted that his city will be playing host to the mega event. “As a healthy and safe city where cricket is especially popular, Brampton is an ideal location for this renowned event. We invite local, national and international audiences to attend what is sure to be a thrilling tournament this summer.”
According to Mayor Brown, “Brampton has the biggest cricket fans in Canada. Just a few weeks ago we saw the Indian Premier League final and fans in Brampton stayed up to the early hours to watch the final. That’s how passionate our fans are.”
Mayor Brown further added, “The City of Brampton has committed to more cricket infrastructure development. Currently two existing venues are getting lights and we are in discussions on the feasibility of a multi-purpose complex that includes a cricket stadium.”
Tournament director Harper disclosed that “to date almost 1 100 cricketers from across the globe have registered for our player draft. This shows that Canada is a preferred location for the world’s best players and is a sought-after destination.”
Toronto Nationals, Montreal Tigers, Edmonton Royals, Winnipeg Hawks and Vancouver Knights are the teams confirmed to date and they will be battling for US$500 000 first prize.
GT20 Canada also announced the launch of a mascot contest. The contest is open to the general public and will be on its social media and website until June 30. The winner of the contest will receive a flight for two to Europe with a three-night stay at a hotel.
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