Former and current international players duped in Toronto after shambolic invitational Twenty20.
Toronto: Sanath Jayasuriya and Mark Boucher are among a group of international cricketers yet to be paid for their participation in a friendly Twenty20 in Canada this past weekend. A one-off match between an International XI and Asia XI in Toronto's Rogers Centre, home of Major League Baseball's Toronto Blue Jays, was hit by poor organisation and the absence of several marquee players, and now comes the news that participants are still waiting to get paid.
According to CBC News, Jayasuriya was quoted as saying he had yet to receive $15,000 to play in Toronto, as well as additional funds to cover his flight from Sri Lanka, from the match organisers Kat Rose Inc., a Toronto company that claims on its website to have organised prior events in South Africa and in the Greater Toronto Area. "It is not good for Canada and not good for Canada and cricket," said Jayasuriya, who ended a 22-year international career last summer. "I’ve been playing for the last 20 years and never gone through this kind of thing before."
Herb Choga, the president of Kat Rose, explained the absence of several Pakistan players – Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Akmal and Hammad Azam – by saying that they had pulled out of the event at the last minute. Due to that, major investors had pulled out of the Twenty20 friendly, but Choga said he would ensure the players for their money. "I'll make sure that they do, like, I'll try my very best to make sure that these guys get paid," he told CBC News.
Boucher, the South African wicketkeeper-batsman, was left fuming on his Twitter account. "Absolute shambles at @T20AllStar2012 in Canada. No players been paid. No organisers here to explain! Disgrace for Canadian cricket! So sad!" he tweeted. "Kat Rose Inc. (Herb Choga) running for cover now! This is a joke! Some players played for their own plane tickets! Doubt any international cricketers will be back here in Canada after this."
Doug Hannum, the CEO of Cricket Canada, which sanctioned the event, termed the incident a national embarrassment ahead of Toronto hosting the Pan Am Games with cricket as a main event. "We took on considerable expense for this event as well and we have not been paid," he said, adding that Cricket Canada would not be paid until the players were.