Canada May 1, 2008

Canada set for Twenty20 boost

Canada have joined the Twenty20 bandwagon and will host their first tournament in Toronto on May 17 and 18

Canada have joined the Twenty20 bandwagon and will host their first tournament in Toronto on May 17 and 18. Eight teams from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia will compete.

"In the light of what is happening in the IPL in India at the moment, what we are undertaking in Canada is a major step to restore this sport to its former glory which it enjoyed till ice hockey replaced it," the board's CEO Atul Ahuja said.

Ahuja was present at the launch of the IPL in Bangalore last month and said that the owners of the franchises had indicated a willingness to send teams to Canada. "All of them ... promised to send Twenty20 teams to Canada in the summer to help us groom players. We have a huge talent from the South Asian and Caribbean communities in Canada."

However, if they do, the sides are unlikely to bear much resemblance to those playing in the IPL at the moment and most of the high-profile players will be on international duty elsewhere.

Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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