Pandemic forces Canada T20 shift to Malaysia

Kieron Pollard (right) celebrates with all-rounder Darren Sammy during the 2018 tournament.

TORONTO, Canada – The Global T20 League, which has featured West Indies stars Kieron Pollard, Chris Gayle, and Andre Russell will be moved to Malaysia for this year’s third edition due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions here.

The governing body, Cricket Canada, said the decision was made following discussions with the Malaysian Cricket Association and tournament’s owners, Bombay Sports.

Canada’s most populous region, Ontario, which plays hosts to the tournament, entered a new round of lockdowns this week following a surge in COVID-19 cases.

“Cricketers and fans of cricket within Canada will naturally be disappointed that this year’s third edition of our world-class GT20 tournament cannot be held in Canada due to the ongoing COVID pandemic and the Canadian health guidelines,” said Cricket Canada president Rashpal Bajwa.

“Cricket Canada, however, understands and fully supports our health authorities. We are also very positive in looking forward to hosting the tournament in Canada once the pandemic is sufficiently ended and the safety of all concerned can be assured. 

“In the interim, we are now very excited to share with all Canadians and cricket lovers across the world that our good friends at the Malaysian Cricket Association have stepped up to help us host this year’s GT20 Season 3 in Malaysia with the necessary local health approvals. 

“We are looking forward to a fascinating third edition of GT20 Canada in Malaysia.”

The tournament is set to bowl off between June and July and will feature six teams clashing across 22 games over 18 days at the Kinrara Oval in Kuala Lumpur.

Each team will comprise ten international cricketers and two marquee players of world-class status, three Canadian players, and local emerging players.

Malaysia reported 1,139 new infections on Wednesday, leaving the number of active cases at 14 097.

The tournament was staged for the first time in 2018 at Maple Leaf Cricket Club in Ontario when Vancouver Knights, featuring Russell and West Indies left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell, beat West Indies B in the final.

In 2019, the tournament was played at the CAA Centre in Ontario, when Winnipeg Hawks defeated Knights in a super-over.

There was no tournament hosted last year.

Cricket Canada said the fourth edition of the tournament would return here next year.


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