Canada became the latest nation to start their own franchise-based T20 cricket with the formation of the Global T20 Canada. The announcement of the league was done in New Delhi on Thursday (February 22) and it was conceptualized, designed, developed and managed by India’s Mercuri Group in association with Cricket Canada.
The Global T20 Canad league, which has earned approval from the International Cricket Council (ICC), is set to take place later this year, in July, across three venues in Toronto. In the press release given by Cricket Canada, they said, “The league will comprise of six franchises drawn on geographical lines, with the possibility to include two-three more teams in the coming years, with four Canadian local players per squad with the rest being international players. It will also comprise of high-powered Cricket Advisory Board made up of eminent former players.”
Talking about the league, Cricket Canada president Mr. Ranjit Saini said, “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. Canada is a great sporting country and event hosting and management skills exist in abundance. This event will not only be a great cricket experience, it will also help grow our tourism potential as a nation.”
He further added, “I think in the initial stages this year and probably next year, we will have to make do with the makeshift structures but we do have plans to build a stadium. Very shortly, there will be efforts and agreements signed by the team owners.”
PM of Canada on India tour
Among the key features of the six-team league, according to Ranjit Saini, who spoke to ESPNcricinfo from Delhi following the announcement, is that a minimum of four Canada eligible cricketers must be included in each 15-members squad. However, there is no compulsion that any Canadian cricketers must be in a starting XI, opening up the possibility of XIs comprising only overseas players.
It has not been decided if the T20 tournament will have an auction system with a salary cap or a draft, but Saini said that one of the six franchises will be made entirely of West Indian overseas players, aside from the four Canada resident players.
Canada has a well-known association with cricket. The first-ever international (cricket) match featured a Canadian squad against the United States at Bloomingdale Park in Manhattan in 1844, with Canada winning the match by 18 runs.