On Wednesday evening the GT20 Canada hosted a grand fundraiser for YouWeCan, the foundation established by Yuvraj Singh with his mother to help fight cancer.
Barely a few hours later, the Montreal Tigers and Toronto Nationals – Yuvraj’s team – were in their own fight, with tournament management.
Peter Della Penna of ESPN Cricinfo was the first to report what was initially communicated as a “technical” delay by organisers, was in fact a protest by players of both teams, who were refusing to leave the team hotel for the ground until they were paid monies outstanding to them.
Players eventually boarded transport at around 1pm and the second round game, which was critical to Toronto’s play-off chances, proceeded a full two hours later than scheduled.
Within the player contracts, which stipulate the event will pay players directly rather than via the franchises, 10-15% of a player’s salary was to be paid before the tournament commenced. A further installment bringing total monies paid to 75% was due by last Sunday, which marked the end of the tournament’s first round.
Further to the ESPN Cricinfo report which mentioned some players were still awaiting cash prizes from the 2018 event remain unpaid, not only were 2019 participants left waiting for basics such as correct playing kit but players from franchises beyond Montreal and Toronto have not yet received a dollar from GT20 / Bombay Sports Limited.
The same group is also the main investor behind the Euro T20 Slam. Sanctioned by the boards of Ireland, Netherlands and Scotland, the inaugural edition is due to get underway August 30. Despite a steady flow of news coming from the event’s official website, there is no indication as to when tickets will be available for sale for the six franchise tournament.