Montreal Tigers captain ace Sri Lankan bowler Lasith Malinga is the leading wicket taker in the first round of Canada’s Global T20 league. Though Montreal is pitted at the bottom of the table, Malinga has shown considerable form with 12 wickets in five games as the tournament enters the playoffs.
Malinga joins a host of marquee players that include Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Shahid Afridi, Darren Sammy, Steve Smith, Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, David Miller, Dwayne Bravo in the well organized tournament.
Global T20 Canada consists of six teams, five representing Canadian cities – Edmonton Royals, Montreal Tigers, Toronto Nationals, Vancouver Knights and Winnipeg Hawks – with a sixth, Cricket West Indies representative team, consisting entirely of players from the Caribbean, as part of an official partnership with Cricket West Indies.
Cricket fans in Canada are delighted as big-name cricket players returned to Toronto for a major tournament after nearly a decade drought. In October 2008, a quadrangular T20 tournament was held with hosts Canada joined by Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Zimbabwe.
That tournament, largely successful was also played at Maple Leaf Cricket Club in King City, north of Toronto. A ground set near farmers’ fields, which requires installation of temporary seating stands.
A Sri Lankan team led by Mahela Jayawardena beat Pakistan in the final, as thousands of fans witnessed an epic battle between Shoaib Akthar and Sanath Jayasuriya. Akthar who managed to get the prized scalp of Jayauriya in the first match, was struck for successive sixes in the final after the batsman was struck in the helmet by bouncer. Ajantha Mendis who was on T20 International debut was named the player series, Jayasuriya the player of the match in the final.