Global T20 Canada cricket tournament opens before largely empty bleachers

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KING CITY, Ont. — The Global T20 Canada cricket tournament opened to largely empty bleachers Thursday.

The Toronto Nationals won the toss and choose to bowl first, putting the Vancouver Knights in to bat at the Maple Leaf Cricket Ground.

West Indies star Chris Gayle opened with one run off Toronto bowler Muhammad Naveed.

Getting the six-team tournament ready was a race to the wire with ticket and broadcast information coming late. That showed in the empty seats for the opening game.

The event runs though July 15.

The tournament is a partnership between Cricket Canada and the Mercuri Group, an India-based media and talent management company that is the driving force behind the event.

Organizers have recruited some marquee names to captain the squads in West Indies’ Darren Sammy (Toronto), Dwayne Bravo (Winnipeg) and Gayle (Vancouver), Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga (Montreal) and Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi (Edmonton). A Cricket West Indies B side fills out the six-team field.

There was a relaxed atmosphere prior to the game with the Vancouver team playing pickup soccer and the Toronto side opting for soccer-volleyball.

 

The Canadian Press