Steven Smith
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Darren Sammy-led Toronto Nationals will take on Vancouver Knights in the inaugural match of Global T20 Canada League.

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The inaugural edition of the league will kickstart on June 28. The 22-game competition will run till July 15. All the games will get played at Maple Leaf Cricket Club in King City, Ontario.

The opening game of the competition also has another big attraction attached to it. The game marks the return of Steven Smith to competitive cricket. The former Australia skipper, one of the marquee players, will represent Toronto. Smith’s compatriot, David Warner, will also return to action through this league.

Both Smith and Warner along with Cameron Bancroft have not played since the ball-tampering scandal in the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town in March.

In the aftermath of the scandal, Cricket Australia (CA) had slapped lengthy bans on the trio. While Smith and Warner received one-year ban each, Bancroft received a nine-month suspension.

Global T20 Canada League: Toronto Nationals to Take on Vancouver Knights in Opener
Warner and Smith along with Bancroft are serving lengthy bans (Credits: Getty)

Smith also had to give up his captaincy in addition to being banned from playing for State and in Big Bash League.

However, CA had made it clear the forbidden trio would be allowed to play grade cricket. Warner will play his first game on June 29, representing Winnipeg Hawks against Montreal Tigers.

Gurmeet Singh, the Chairman of Global T20 Canada, expressed his excitement over the league, saying,

“The schedule reveal is another symbolic step towards bringing the excitement and spectacle of pro Twenty20 cricket to Canada and making cricket and Canadian sports history. With the calibre of talent coming to Canada, fans will see top international stars in every match from the opener through to the final,” he said.

Six teams will fight it out for the top prize – Toronto Nationals, Vancouver Knights, Edmonton Royals, Montreal Tigers, Winnipeg Hawks and Cricket West Indies Representative Team.

The schedule includes matches spread across two rounds and playoffs. The first round will be played from June 28 to July 8.

It will be a round-robin format with each team playing every other side once. Through the first two rounds, teams will earn two points for a win. Only the top four teams advance to the playoffs.

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