GT20 Canada: Match delayed as players protest over payments

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The Global T20 Canada League ran into trouble over players payments when Toronto Nationals and Montreal Tigers had refused to take field on Wednesday.

Yuvraj Singh-led Toronto Nationals were scheduled to face Montreal Tigers at the CAA Centre, Brampton, Ontario, for their second round game. The teams, however, declined to leave their hotel unless their dues were cleared.

The players under the terms of their contract were to be paid 15% of their fee before the start of the tournament, while the second instalment of 75% was payable on completion the first round, ESPNcricinfo.com has reported quoting sources. Even as first round was completed on Sunday, August 7, players had not received their dues. The issue flared up as a majority of the players have reportedly not received their payments.

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The protest delayed the start of the game on Wednesday by over two hours.

As the players did not reach the stadium for more than 75 minutes from the start time and the broadcaster played the recording of an old match, journalist Peter Della Penna was the first to highlight the dispute on his twitter handle @PeterDellaPenna.

“Breaking news: Sources say Montreal Tigers & Toronto Nationals are refusing to board the team bus to the CAA Center for today’s @GT20Canada match over outstanding player payments. Buses was supposed to leave an hour ago. Match due to start in 75 minutes but players not at field,” Della Penna mentioned in his tweet.

“TV coverage on Hotstar in the USA of the @GT20Canada is currently showing a replay of a previous match between Brampton and Vancouver with a scroll along the bottom that reads ‘Global T20 2019 match between Montreal Tigers and Toronto Nationals will begin shortly. Stay tuned!’,” Della Penna stated further.

The organisers had initially attributed the delay to technical reasons. “The match between @MontrealTigers and @TorontoNational has been delayed due to technical reasons. The game will now start at 2:30PM local time. It will be a 20-over-a-side match,” Global T20 Canada stated on its twitter handle @GT20Canada.

The organisers in a Press statement later contradicted their own “technical issue” stand. “The game between Montreal Tigers & Toronto Nationals on Wednesday, August 7th, 2019, was delayed due to procedural issues between the players, the GT20 league, and the franchise owners. All the stakeholders had a meeting and addressed the concerns,” release stated

The teams have reportedly threatened to not to take field if their payments were not cleared before the start of the play today (Thursday).

Meanwhile, a number of local Canadian players have accused the league of capping their salaries at $7500 on the day of the draft without any explanation even though some of the players had an initial base price of $25,000.

The league organisers Bombay Sports Limited also own the Euro T20 Slam, which will be played from August 30.

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