VIDEO: Upcoming GT20 cricket tournament a homecoming for members of Canada’s first World Cup squad in Brampton

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Published June 24, 2024 at 12:40 pm

2024 gt20 tournamnet brampton canada world cup cricket t20
Photo: GT20 Canada

This year’s GT20 Canada cricket tournament in Brampton will be a homecoming for members of Canada’s national team hot off their first-ever cricket World Cup appearance.

Back for its fourth year, the GT20 tournament returns to Brampton next month with some of the sport’s biggest stars from at home and around the world coming to town for two weeks of world-class cricket play.

The six-team competition will see the Brampton Wolves try and dethrone defending champions the Montreal Tigers, along with the Bangla Tigers Mississauga, Vancouver Knights, Surrey Jaguars and Toronto Nationals.

Last year’s GT20 tournament was broadcast in 133 countries with an audience of over 180 million – more than the 2023 Super Bowl’s 115.1 million watchers. Organizers say last year’s tournament brought more than $30 million in value for the city, $34 million for the province, and $43 million for Canada.

Brampton’s own Saad Bin Zafar will be there as part of the Toronto Nationals’ roster along with Canadian teammates Nicholas Kirton and Nikhil Dutta, fresh off leading Canada’s national cricket team to their first-ever berth and win at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

The Canadians recorded their first World Cup win when they beat the No. 11-ranked Ireland by 12 runs earlier this month.

Other Canadian World Cup team members taking part in this year’s GT20 include Aaron Johnson and Ravinderpal Singh of the Brampton Wolves, and Pargat Singh, Dilon Heyliger and Rayyan Pathan with the Bangla Tigers Mississauga.

Several other Canadians also made the Season 4 draft while Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis and Pakistan captain Babar Azam are among some of the marquee cricket names slated to play in this summer’s competition.

The city says cricket is the fastest-growing sport in Brampton, with Mayor Patrick Brown on a push to make the city the cricket capital of Canada. The city has invested millions in new and upgraded cricket infrastructer in the last few years and Brampton has launched a new Youth Cricket League open to kids between 6 and 15 years old that mirrors the GT20 tournament.

The tournament brought a spike in tourism to Brampton with some 44 per cent of the 75,000 tickets sold for the 2019 tournament purchased by people living outside of Ontario, including 6,700 tickets sold in the U.S.

The Vancouver Knights won the inaugural tournament in 2018 with the Winnipeg Hawks emerging victorious in 2019. There was no competition in 2020 or 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The player pool draws on talent from Canada, Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, Italy, Malaysia, Namibia, Nepal, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa United Arab Emirates, the U.S., and the West Indies.

India does not allow its players to take part in foreign leagues, unless they are retired from international cricket and not playing in the domestic IPL.

Teams were chosen via draft with sides allowed to retain a number of players from last year, if so desired.

Players returning from last year include Logan van Beek of the Netherlands (Surrey Jaguars), Australia’s Chris Lynn and Sherfane Rutherford of the West Indies (Montreal Tigers), and New Zealand’s Colin Munro (Toronto Nationals).

The 2024 GT20 Canada tournament will run from July 25 to Aug. 11 in Brampton. For more details visit www.gt20.ca.

– With files from The Canadian Press

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