The Global T20 Canada is back for its second season and it promises to be bigger and better. Six teams will fight for the elusive title across 20 days and 22 matches. It was the Vancouver Knights that won the inaugural edition of the Global T20 Canada.
This year’s tournament opener will see the defending champions Vancouver Knights squaring off against Toronto Nationals. The last season saw multiple star attraction participate and do well for their respective sides. In fact, it was the first time that the duo of Steve Smith and David Warner returned to cricket after they were slapped with bans.
It was the platform that helped them ease back into cricket. The likes of Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Lasith Malinga, Moises Henriques were among the other big stars that played the league. This year, there are quite a few new superstars joining the league.
Yuvraj Singh, Kane Williamson, Brendon McCullum, Darren Sammy, Chris Lynn, Dwayne Bravo and the list goes on. Hence, it promises to be an exciting tournament. With the second edition of the Global T20 Canada getting underway on Thursday, we look at the five players to watch out for.
Here are the five players to watch out for:
Yuvraj Singh (Toronto Nationals)
Yuvraj Singh. (Photo Source: IANS)
Post the IPL, Yuvraj Singh is all set to become the first Indian male cricketer to participate in a T20 league other than the IPL. He was the star attraction going into the players draft before this season and was picked up by Toronto Nationals. This is the first time he will be in action since he announced his retirement.
The left-handed Punjab batsman will be playing alongside Kieron Pollard and Brendon McCullum. Yuvraj recently announced his retirement from international cricket and expressed his desire to play in other T20 leagues. Moreover, he has received an NoC from the BCCI. He will be a vital part of the Toronto Nationals batting line-up in his debut season.
Yuvraj Singh has been named the captain of the team as well and will be facing off against Chris Gayle in the tournament opener. The 37-year-old will be eager to show off his prowess with the bat over the next few matches and help the team win as many matches as possible.
Chris Gayle (Vancouver Knights)
Chris Gayle. (Photo Source: Twitter)
This will be Chris Gayle’s second season in the Global T20 Canada. He led the Vancouver Knights in the inaugural season and will be looking to defend the title this time around. However, he blew hot and cold with the bat and could contribute just 144 runs in seven innings.
His current form is not too different either. The Universe Boss wasn’t at his best throughout the World Cup and could score just a couple of fifties in the tournament. There were times he threatened to get a big score but failed to cash in. It will be interesting to see how he fares this year with his reflexes getting weak.
Moreover, Gayle has opted not to play for the West Indies in T20I series against India. He is likely to hang his boots after the ODI and Test series against the same team and has expressed his wish to play the Test match one final time before calling it quits. Gayle, however, will be playing the T20 leagues and mesmerise the fans like he always does.
Kane Williamson (Edmonton Royals)
Kane Williamson. (Photo Source: Twitter)
This is Kane Williamson’s debut season and he will surely be one of the biggest attractions. He is definitely one of the biggest stars in international cricket at the moment. He is one among the top four or five leading batsmen across all formats currently and is coming off a sensational World Cup.
The New Zealand skipper has been in fine form. In the recently concluded World Cup, he was awarded the player of the tournament award for his outstanding batting and excellent captaincy. He churned out 578 runs at an average of 82.57 and was more remembered for being humble after a humdinger of a final and the way he handled himself during the controversial moments.
Williamson literally carried the New Zealand batting line-up on his shoulders. Thus, he will be one of the most important cogs in the Edmonton Royals’ line-up. He will look to carry his good form and lead the charge with the bat for the Royals.
Chris Lynn (Winnipeg Hawks)
Chris Lynn. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)
Chris Lynn is one of the most destructive T20 players going around. He has the ability to set the tone and put the opposition under some early pressure with some big hitting at the top of the order. He can turn games pretty quickly and is a match-winner at the top.
It’s been over two months since Chris Lynn was in action. He last played in the IPL for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and was the second-highest run-getter for them. Lynn amassed 405 runs in 13 innings at a strike-rate of almost 140. He struck four fifties and was one of the few consistent batsmen for the franchise in the season.
Thus, the Winnipeg Hawks will be banking on Lynn to give them strong starts at the top of the order. With the T20 World Cup approaching back home, Lynn will also be eyeing an Aussie comeback and a brilliant season here will definitely help him get back in contention.
Umar Akmal (Winnipeg Hawks)
Umar Akmal. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
It was in March earlier this year that Umar Akmal returned to the Pakistan ODI side after more than three years. However, he was soon dropped and wasn’t picked for the World Cup. Akmal’s inconsistency has been one of his biggest problems throughout his career.
He will be making his debut in the Global T20 Canada and will be featuring for Winnipeg Hawks. Akmal last played competitive cricket more than three months back and that was in Pakistan’s domestic One-Day Cup. He was in great form in that tournament.
The 29-year-old Lahore born finished as the highest run-getter in that tournament. He scored 342 runs at an average of 85.50 and a strike-rate of 140.74. Thus, he will be looking to continue his good form and pay a way back into national reckoning.
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