Cricket: Canada T20 league’s Indian owner is getting ready for Europe

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Vancouver Knights' Chris Gayle holds up trophy after his team defeated the West Indies B Team in their final of the Global T20 Canada cricket tournament in King City, Ont., on Sunday, July 15, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Thornhill

New Delhi: After the success of the Global T20 Canada, league owner Gurmeet Singh is now set to take up the challenge of popularising the game in Europe. The man behind getting the big names to ply their trade in Canada will be a part of the Euro T20 slam — co-hosted by Cricket Ireland, Cricket Scotland and Cricket Netherlands.

With the ICC already looking to reach untapped territories with the gentleman’s game, Gurmeet feels that the shortest format of the game is best suited to rope in new fans as also popularise the game in places where cricket is played mostly by expatriates.

Speaking to IANS, Gurmeet said that the idea behind the move to join hands and take up the European challenge is to help talented players get the opportunity to play against the best in the world as also help promote the game in areas where cricket isn’t popular.

“Part of our decision outside of the obvious commercial benefits to hosting a T20 league, is the impact we can have on the development of cricket in these three nations. Together, the opportunities for local players on a global stage, the sharing of global best practices and the generation of new streams of revenue can greatly enhance the game’s output.

“Plus we conducted a feasibility case on the next best place for the game to grow in the associate region and these three boards came through as most adequate for growth and their associations were prepared and motivated to do business with us,” he explained.

After the success of the Global T20 Canada league, Gurmeet feels that the Euro T20 slam can help more youngsters come into prominence and make a career out of playing the game.

“Look at the success of the West Indian boys in the IPL, Rassie Van Der Dussen in the South African set-up and others. If we can replicate the growth curve year after year for young and established players, both our tournaments would’ve served the game of cricket well,” he pointed.

But Gurmeet also feels the need to have the bigger boards like the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to come and help this endeavour.

“The leagues will have their standard operating procedures but the BCCI is such a juggernaut any sharing between the leagues will go a long way with brands, revenue, commercial and just the overall benefits to the game. Maybe they can also think of allowing non contracted players to participate in these leagues.

“These small measures can go a long way in supporting countries who are trying to find their feet in international cricket. Everyone should help associate nations to make cricket a truly global sport,” he said.

With the various T20 leagues comes the chance of dubious practices coming into being. But Gurmeet said that there will be no tolerance for any corrupt practice.

“Keeping the game away from the unwanted activities is of paramount importance. We follow a strict ICC Anti Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) Code of regulations and will double down on our security procedures at both competitions. When it comes to security and corruption related activities, we won’t leave any stone unturned,” he pointed.

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