New Delhi: The ICC has given green light to Cricket Canada's ambitious maiden venture Global T20 Canada, which is expected to be held in July this year with three venues being earmarked in Toronto.
The three venues are Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club (where Sahara Cup was played for three seasons between India and Pakistan), Sunnybrook Park and Maple Leaf Cricket Club.
Four Canadian local players will be playing in every squad, with T20 freelancers from Pakistan, West Indies and New Zealand expected to ply their trade. A high-powered Cricket Advisory Board is to be formed made up of eminent former players. The likes of Brendon McCullum, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo are all expected to play.
According to a media release, the league has been "conceptualised, designed, developed and managed by Mercuri Group with Cricket Canada, the official governing body for the sport in the country".
"The league has also gained official sanction of the International Cricket Council (ICC). With this announcement, Cricket Canada becomes the first Associate member of the ICC to set in motion a Twenty20 franchise league in the lucrative North America market."
Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in the final leg of his official Indian trip, participated in a promotional cricket event at a school in the national capital on Thursday.
Prime Minister Trudeau signed a bat wishing the Global T20 Canada all the luck on the sidelines of his visit to the school.
Cricket Canada has entered into a 25-year Master Licensing Agreement with Mercuri Talent Management Pvt Ltd. This agreement covers not just the Global T20 Canada but also investment in developing the grassroots for the sport in the country.
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."
Founder and Group CEO of Mercuri Group, Mr. Sriram Bakthisaran stated: "We are absolutely delighted to partner with Cricket Canada to contribute directly to the success of cricket in Canada. Cricket is coming back home and we are only too delighted to play a part in it. We have a long-term vision and that also includes aiding in the development of a world class Canadian national side. So it is not just about the league but about the all-round development of the sport.