By Ravendra Madholall
West Indies T20 skipper Darren Sammy and pugnacious opener Chris Gayle are promising “great entertainment” tomorrow at the Maple Leaf cricket ground in King City, Ontario as the inaugural Canada Global T20 tournament bowls off.
Sammy will be leading Toronto Nationals against Vancouver Knights which will be led by Gayle.
Yesterday, both Windies player spoke enthusiastically of making a big impression and more importantly, lifting the trophy.
At a press conference at Marriot Hotel in Toronto, St. Lucia-born Sammy stated that his team is talented enough to defeat all its opponents while the left-handed Gayle also echoed similar views about his team.
“I think it will be a great tournament from Thursday[ tomorrow]. We have a good team, especially with the presence of Australian Steven Smith and I [am] very optimistic of winning our first match against Vancouver Knights,” Sammy said.
The 34-year-old Sammy, who featured in 38 tests matches, mentioned that the six teams participating teams are equally competitive and he expects great challenge but is also keen to provide rich entertainment with his ‘willow’ for the locals’ fans.
“Looking at the magnitude of the tournament where you will have a lot of star players on show, you want to give your best and me and my good friend Gayle will provide entertainment for the fans in Canada. We are both excited to be a part of this tournament as well,” Sammy, who led West Indies to two International Cricket Council T20 titles, remarked.
The four other team taking part are: Montreal Tigers, Edmonton Knights, Winnipeg Hawks and Cricket West Indies “B”.
Gayle was also confident that his side will defeat Sammy’s combination in their first outing. He said his balanced team is capable of bowling out oppositions cheaply and his batsmen can produce triumphant totals.
“I think we have a great set of players to do well in Toronto. Obviously, every team wants to win but we have players with experience and ability and that certainly can take us through. I am definitely excited to be here and I know this tournament will definitely see Canada’s cricket continue to grow,” the former West Indies captain declared.
Asked about his initial thoughts having been invited to play in this tournament and to represent Vancouver Knights, Gayle said : “I have been playing cricket around the world and T20 cricket is very thrilling. So I don’t think excitement will be short here in Canada. I am anxious to go out there and play and help my team wins the first competition.”
1, 28 June 4pm Toronto Nationals vs Vancouver Knights
2, 29 June 4pm Montreal Tigers vs Winnipeg Hawks
3, 30 June 11am Toronto Nationals vs Edmonton Royals
4, 4pm Montreal Tigers vs CWI B Team
5, 1 July 11am Vancouver Knights vs Winnipeg Hawks
6, 4pm Edmonton Royals vs CWI B Team
7, 2 July 11am Toronto Nationals vs Winnipeg Hawks
8, 4pm Montreal Tigers vs Vancouver Knights
9 4 July 4pm Montreal Tigers vs Edmonton Royals
10 5 July 4pm Winnipeg Hawks vs CWI B Team
11- 6 July 4pm Vancouver Knights vs Edmonton Royals
12 7July 11am Toronto Nationals vs CWI B Team
13 4pm Winnipeg Hawks vs Edmonton Royals
14 8 July 11am Vancouver Knights vs CWI B Team
15 4pm Toronto Nationals vs Montreal Tigers