May 1, 2008

Canada

Canada set for Twenty20 boost

Martin Williamson

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.

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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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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Martin Williamson
Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.

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