A second round match between Toronto Nationals and Montreal Tigers in the ongoing Global League T20 in Canada was delayed by almost two hours due to players protest.
According to a ESPNcricinfo report, both sides --Toronto Nationals, led by former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh and George Bailey’s Montreal Tigers -- initially refused to take the bus at the scheduled departure time from the team hotel to the CAA Centre in Brampton over unpaid wages.
“The game between Montreal Tigers & Toronto Nationals on Wednesday, was delayed due to procedural issues between the players, the GT20 league, and the franchise owners. All the stakeholders had a meeting and addressed the concerns,” said a press release from the organisers.
Yuvraj’s side needed to win all their remaining matches to stand a chance of qualifying for the knockouts but they were willing to sacrifice that for the sake of their wages, the report stated.
“Global T20 Canada management is doing their best to popularise the game in North America and as a new entity in cricket, are bound to come across certain hurdles.
“On behalf of GT20 Canada, we sincerely thank all the stakeholders, players, and support staff for their constant support and confidence in us. We deeply regret the inconvenience caused to our sponsors, broadcasters, and millions of fans across the globe,” the release read.
Global T20 Canada, in a statement on their Twitter handle, stated at 12.40 p.m. local time, that the match had been “delayed due to technical reasons” and announced that it had been pushed back to a 2.30 p.m. local time start from the originally scheduled 12.30 p.m. and that it would remain a full 20-over contest.
According to the ESPNcricinfo report, the protest is not limited to these two teams only. The report, quoting sources, said other squads have told team and league owners Bombay Sports Limited that they will refuse to take the field for the playoff stage beginning on Thursday if their unpaid wages are not being paid.
When the match started between the two teams, Toronto Nationals posted 189/5 in their stipulated 20 overs and restricted Montreal Tigers to 154 in 19.3 overs, thus winning the match by 35 runs and booked their place in the play-offs.