Global T20 Canada League has roped in Star Sports as the broadcast partners for the inaugural edition.
Star Sports will telecast the first edition of GT20 Canada, starting from tonight (Thursday). The matches, with the final slated for July 15, will be broadcast live on Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD. Hotstar will live stream the league. Star’s OTT platform, Hotstar has also been signed in as official digital rights partner for the territories in North America.
The series will see the likes of suspended Australian cricket team captain and vice-captain, Steven Smith and David Warner, along with some of the best T20 professionals the shortest format of the game has ever.
GT20 Canada is the latest addition to the global growth of T20 cricket and the inaugural edition. The tournament will feature the likes of David Warner, Steven Smith, Chris Gayle and Andre Russel along with some of the most decorated names in T20 cricket such as Shahid Afridi, Dwayne Bravo, Tim Southee, Chris Lynn, Luke Ronchi, Sunil Narine, David Miller and many more.
As the Board of Control for Cricket in India has a strict policy to not to allow its enrolled cricketers for professional leagues other than the Indian Premier League, the GT20 Canada too does not have any Indian cricketer.
The league will feature six teams including the Cricket West Indies B, mainly comprising the upcoming West Indies T20 talents such as Justin Greaves and Shamar Springer who was a part of West Indies U-19 squad for the ICC U-19 World Cup 2016.
Other than the Cricket West Indies team, the GT20 organisers till date have made no announcement on the team franchisee owners.
The organisers until late last week were in talks with a leading Indian cricketer for ownership of “any team of his choice”. The cricketer, confirming to Insidesport.co on condition of anonymity, had turned down the offer after an initial round of talks as he “did not get clarity on various aspects of the league”.
“I was approached after the players draft has been concluded. I along with an investment partner was keen to explore the opportunity. Since, we didn’t find it convincing, it was decided to hold our enterprising spirit for another time,” the cricketer told insidesport.co.
The league features some of the best global T20 professionals. Smith and Warner also make a return to “international level” competitive cricket for the first time after the “sandpapergate” ball tampering controversy during Australia’s Test series in South Africa. It is a bit surprising that no franchisee ownership have been announced till a few hours before the league to start.
Meanwhile, the Global T20 Canada organisers have revealed the domestic broadcast partners for the event a day before the event scheduled to start today.
Canadian broadcast group Asian Television Network has secured domestic (Canadian) rights to the tournament, which will run from June 28 to July 15 at Maple Leaf Cricket Club north of Toronto, while Hotstar will also stream coverage of the league.
Elsewhere, in addition to Star Sports in India, free-to-air digital channel FreeSports (UK), pay-television broadcaster Fox Sports (Australia), pay-television broadcaster Geo Sports (Pakistan), pay-television broadcaster Orbit Showtime Network (Middle East), pay-television broadcaster Gazi TV (Bangladesh) and pay-television broadcaster SportsMax (Caribbean) have acquired the rights for the league.
ATN will broadcast the league via CBN, a national sports channel.