The showdown between West Indies stars Darren Sammy and Chris Gayle kicks off the 22-fixture Global T20 Canada schedule.
A match-up featuring West Indies teammates Sammy, Gayle and Andre Russell will open the inaugural edition of Global T20 Canada as part of the schedule released Tuesday for the first professional T20 cricket league in North America.
Sammy’s Toronto Nationals will face Vancouver Knights with Gayle and Russell on 28 June in the first match of the schedule that will ultimately crown a champion on 15 July at Maple Leaf Cricket Club in King City, Ontario, just north of Toronto.
Other highlights include Australian captain Steve Smith making his league debut in the opener with Toronto and squaring off against his compatriot David Warner and Winnipeg Hawks on 2 July. Canada Day long weekend will provide fans with an opportunity to see all of the league’s marquee players with six matches over three days. The full schedule available at www.gt20.ca/match-schedule/.
‘The schedule reveal is another symbolic step towards bringing the excitement and spectacle of pro T20 cricket to Canada, and making cricket and Canadian sport history,’ said Gurmeet Singh, chairman of Global T20 Canada. ‘With the calibre of talent coming to Canada, fans will see top international stars in every match from the opener through to the final.’
Six franchise teams will vie for the championship: Toronto Nationals, Vancouver Knights, Edmonton Royals, Montreal Tigers, Winnipeg Hawks and Cricket West Indies Representative Team, comprised entirely of players from the Caribbean.
The schedule includes matches spread across two rounds and playoffs. Matches in the first round, to be played from 28 June to 8 July, will be in a round-robin format with each team playing every other team once, for a total of 15 matches. Through the first two rounds, teams will earn two points for a win and zero points for a loss. Only the top four teams advance to the playoffs.
The schedule has two matches on weekends and holidays, with start times of 11am EST and 4pm EST. Weekdays will have single matches with a 4pm EST start time. Three off days are built into the schedule on 3, 9 and 13 July.
‘The schedule provides many opportunities for fans from all over to see many of cricket’s stars, and plan their day around Global T20 Canada,’ said Jason Harper, tournament director of Global T20 Canada. ‘Creating a strong fan experience is paramount and will help build a strong foundation for the league going forward.’