Covid-19 Forces Global T20 Canada to Shift to Malaysia
The six-team competition known as the Global T20 Canada will be played again in 2021. However, owing to logistical problems in North America caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Malaysia will host the tournament from June 26 to July 11. The pandemic ensured that season 2020 of the tournament which began in 2018 suffered disruption.
Kinrara Oval is Malaysia’s Only Internationally Recognized Cricket Ground
Malaysia’s Kinrara Oval which will be the venue of 22 matches over 18 days is Malaysia’s only internationally recognized cricket ground. In 2018, the stadium played host to the Under-19 World Cup. The Asian Cricket Council and the ICC have used the venue to stage numerous junior-level cricket competitions. A triangular ODI series involving India, West Indies and Australia was held here in 2006.
Many International Cricketers Have Featured in Global T20 Canada
Several international stars made a beeline for the Global T20 Canada in its first couple of editions, including Brendon McCullum, Steve Smith, David Warner, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Andre Russell, Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, and Chris Gayle. The competition allows a maximum of 10 international cricketers from Associate and Full Members of the ICC. Apart from two marquee players, each team will have six cricketers – including three emerging players – from the national circuit in Canada. Every team must also feature a Malaysian player.
Approvals Being Sought ICC and Government of Malaysia
The league enjoys joint ownership and management by Cricket Canada and their partner organisation Bombay Sports Co Limited. The organisers are currently busy obtaining relevant approvals from the ICC and Malaysian government agencies. Speaking to a media outlet, Rashpal Bajwa, President of Cricket Canada, is quoted as saying, “Cricketers and fans of cricket in Canada would be disappointed to know that the third edition of our world-class tournament – GT20 Canada, cannot be held in Canada this year, due to the ongoing pandemic and the Canadian health guidelines. We understand and support our health authorities. We are very positive and look forward to hosting the tournament in Canada once we are past this pandemic.”
MCA President ‘Delighted’ to Host Competition
Mahinda Vallipuram, the Malaysian Cricket Association President, has been quoted as saying to a media outlet that he was delighted to be able to host the competition in Malaysia and that he was humbled that Malaysian had been chosen by the organisers to hold the GT20 tournament, especially in light of the “many setbacks and adversities we faced over the past year.” He added, “However, far more importantly, that we are in a position to step up for Canada Cricket so as to ensure the continuity of the GT20 tournament. Doubtless, this tournament will also give our players exponential growth experience in their game. I must acknowledge the Malaysian government in this instance, for managing the pandemic well, and we at Malaysian Cricket are continually committed to ensuring the safety of the players and officials at all times.”
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