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Dublin: 2°C Wednesday 14 April 2021

New Euro T20 league involving Irish franchises cancelled at last minute

Organisers said they have postponed the competition until 2020 after reportedly running into financial difficulties.

THE INAUGURAL EURO T20 Slam, a competition due to feature six city franchises based in Ireland, Scotland and Netherlands, has been postponed in farcical circumstances, just two weeks before it was due to start.  

Following reports the tournament organisers had run into financial difficulties, a statement released on Wednesday evening said the board of the competition had decided to ‘reluctantly’ postpone the competition until 2020. 

Ireland Nets Session - Day Two - Lord's Kevin O'Brien was due to play for the Dublin Chiefs. Source: Bradley Collyer

Two Irish franchises — the Dublin Chiefs and Belfast Titans — were due to compete in the T20 league from 30 August to 22 September, with fixtures taking place in Dublin, Edinburgh and Amsterdam.

In addition to a host of Irish players set to be involved, marquee stars such as New Zealand’s Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum, South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn, England’s World Cup-winning skipper Eoin Morgan, Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi, Australia’s Shane Watson and Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan had all been lined-up to play.

“The Board of the Euro T20 Slam, funding partners and franchise owners of this exciting new T20 tournament have reluctantly come to the decision that staging of the event will not be possible in 2019,” said a tournament spokesman.

“We want to ensure that the inaugural staging of the Euro T20 Slam provides the best springboard to making this a truly flagship event on the global cricket calendar.

“As such, we believe the right course of action is to postpone the Slam to a further date. This will give us the necessary breathing space to ensure we are ready to go.”

Warren Deutrom, Cricket Ireland chief executive, admitted his disappointment.

“We are deeply disappointed with the decision, however, fully empathise with the rationale that has led to the tournament’s postponement,” he said.

The excitement and energy that the Euro T20 Slam had generated since it was announced has demonstrated a high level of interest amongst the Irish public in seeing world-class cricket hosted here in Ireland. We hope that the interest will carry on until 2020 when the Slam will finally get underway.

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“We would like to acknowledge the enormous work that has gone into planning for the Slam behind the scenes — the clubs, the local councils, business partners and sponsors, and the many, many hours put in by staff in Cricket Ireland, Cricket Scotland and KNCB to support this undertaking. All of this groundwork is not in vain, as it will be the bedrock on which we support the event next year.”

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Ryan Bailey

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