3:40 PM ETPeter Della PennaCricket ClosePeter Della Penna is an American cricket journalist who also writes for ESPNcricinfo.com and DreamCricket.com. Since 2010, he has penned the USA entry in the Cricket Round the World section of the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack.
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A bomb threat delayed the start of the GT20 clash between Montreal Tigers and Winnipeg Hawks on Friday in Brampton. While little information has been forthcoming about the 90-minute delay that truncated the fixture to 12-overs-a-side, ESPNcricinfo spoke to a number of players from both squads.
Global T20 Canada organisers said, “play has been delayed due to some technical reasons” through their Twitter account in a tweet posted at 4:50 pm local time, 20 minutes after play was scheduled to begin. However, a running scroll on one of the official TV broadcasts said “security issues” were the reason for the delay. A number of fans tweeted images of standing in long queues outside the ground, after being denied entry by the police.
The players ESPNcricinfo contacted confirmed they weren’t allowed to enter the makeshift ground at the CAA Centre after a suspicious package had been left unattended at the venue. The police then closed off the venue to perform a sweep of the facility, by employing bomb-sniffing dogs.
“Routine sniffer dogs checks found a substance that alerted security,” one player told ESPNcricinfo. Another source also said that alarms were raised after a hole was found in a temporarily constructed perimeter fence that surrounds the cricket portion of the facility, contributing to the precautionary measures taken by local police.
The players were eventually let in to warm-up and begin the match after the package was deemed not dangerous. The reduced-overs match went off without any further hiccups.
When the match finally began, the only other mention for the delay came through one of the commentators, who said a “security situation” was the reason without elaborating further. Montreal Tigers won by 24 runs, courtesy Sunil Narine’s 30-ball 59.