Canada ‘right’ to refuse hosting U-19 Cricket World Cup: Errol Townshend

Errol Townshend (right) pictured with National player Umar Bhatti

Former Ontario Cricket Association President Errol Townshend has come to the defense of the current Cricket Canada administration in a letter to Share News stating that declining to host the 2012 ICC U-19 World Cup was the ‘right’ move.

Mr. Townshend was critical of the ‘misinformation’ that is flying around in Canadian cricket circles and also the previous administrations decision to agree to host the tournament in the first place.

Here is the letter in it’s entirety:

‘It’s a measure of the mindlessness and misinformation that pervades Canada’s cricketing community that there is mourning over Cricket Canada’s decision to throw the 2012 Under-19 World Cup back into the laps of the International Cricket Council (ICC). Instead, there should be dancing on the pitches.

It was one of the several dumb decisions taken by the Ben Sennek regime which acquiesced in allowing the ICC to foist this tournament on Canada.

We did not bid for it. We were simply told to host it. To its credit, the Sennek gang insisted the ICC pay a hosting fee. This was more than the previous regime did when, against my advice, it allowed the ICC to bankrupt Canadian cricket by hosting the 2001 ICC Trophy, the senior mini-World Cup for Associate countries.

But the hosting fee this time was still chump change. It took Canada eight years following 2001 to dig itself out of bankruptcy. Hosting this 2012 event would likely have put Cricket Canada right back in a deep financial hole.

That the current Cricket Canada board thought it necessary to approach various levels of government for a whopping $2.5 million to put on this event should have turned on the lights in the heads of all those, like OCA president Mike Kendall, now mourning its loss. This is a youth tournament. There are no superstars. No gate receipts. As we found out in 2001, all major advertising receipts go to the ICC. There is no TV revenue coming to Cricket Canada. It’s all spend, spend, spend. It was destined to be a financial bath from the get-go.

There was mad talk of building turf pitches all over Canada for the event, without so much as a thought as to how they would be maintained. One suspects that many of these intended turf pitches would end up in various stages of deterioration, as is the case with the two at Ross Lord Park in Toronto.

Canada is now the second Associate country in the past two years that agreed to host the World Under-19 Cup but no longer will. Kenya spent oodles of money upgrading its grounds in preparation for this past January’s event only to have it yanked away by the ICC and given to New Zealand. No word about any compensation to Kenya for its troubles.

The ICC, in the hopes of competing with soccer, is trying to make cricket into a world game. The game is being spread into countries, including China, that have no cricketing history. It has sought, within the Associate countries like Canada, to bring a level of professionalism to its administration by paying national coaches, CEOs and granting modest central contracts to the top players. This is commendable. But one of the consequences that should have been anticipated is that once you introduce payment to a few volunteers in a hitherto amateur system, other volunteers will want to be paid as well. Thus, a pittance of a hosting fee paid to a governing national body could never compensate for the enormous outlay required to host such an event.

Debt-ridden Caribbean island governments, especially Jamaica, are still picking up the tab for hosting the 2007 World Cup. Cricket Canada, under Sennek, spent some $250,000 of its own money preparing for that event and received not a penny for its pains. Ireland, which shocked the world by advancing to the Super Eights, went home with pennies in its pocket until an embarrassed ICC cut them a one-off, hush-hush-don’t-cry cheque.

Ireland also had its two top batsmen, Ed Joyce and Eion Morgan, pinched by England under eligibility rules skewed heavily in favour of Test countries.

Canada, whose on-the-field performance is now an international joke, is going to the senior World Cup next year. But the money being spent by ICC in helping Canada and other Associates prepare for this TV extravaganza is mostly to ensure that the matches last the full 100 overs, unlike the disaster in 2003 when Canada was bowled out for 36 in the blink of an eye by Sri Lanka. (Pity those poor sponsors whose TV ads never got aired as a result.) So the money-spinning ICC is not exactly the charitable foundation some of the bird-brains in Canada’s cricket community think it is.

Agreeing to host the 2012 Under-19 World Cup was a huge mistake. Thankfully, Cricket Canada has now corrected it. We should all be rejoicing.’

Errol Townshend

Email: ewat@rogers.com

As a Canadian Cricketer, I’m disappointed that we will not be hosting the World Cup.  It would have provided our young players the opportunity to play at home against the top teams in the world.

However, it is important for our National body to think long term and whether it would be able to afford such an event.  Obviously there were some doubts within the board, so they’ve done the right thing by allowing the ICC enough time to find an alternate venue and perhaps have earned some respect within the ICC for not putting on a tournament that is not up to International standards.

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Cricket Clubs fight for a ‘Home’

The Halton Stars CC and Burlington United CC are looking for a home ground to play at this season.  After having fought for 2 years to get the City of Burlington, Ontario to discuss adding a cricket facility, the teams are disappointed in having to play without a ‘home’ ground again.

They will play in Hamilton, Brantford, Oakville and Mississauga at their oppositions home ground negating any home field advantage, and will be paying other municipalities for use of the grounds.

We need more facilities across Canada, and especially in the Greater Toronto Area, to accommodate the demand for Cricket grounds.  Cricket is the fastest growing sport in Canada and we need municipal government to cooperate with local clubs to keep up the pace.

Please help them out by signing the petition at the link below.

‘We, the undersigned, call on the City of Burlington to develop a cricket Field in Burlington.

link: CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION

via Welcome to Burlington United Cricket Club (B.U.C.C).’

Norman Jackson

‘It is with deep regret and a heavy heart that we inform you of the passing away of T&DCA Board member, Mr Norman Jackson. Norman has served on the T&DCA Board for over 25 years and would go down in our history as one of pioneering members who made a significant contribution towards the building of our league. Norman also served on the OCA Board. Norman Jackson lovingly known as Jacko, gave his life to cricket, but has now left us for a better place.

Our heart felt sympathy goes out to his family and the Malton Cricket Club. He will be missed by all.

We will keep you informed of funeral and viewing arrangements as they become available..’

via Toronto District Cricket Association.

‘Long time cricket volunteer Mr. Norman Jackson lost his battle to cancer and has passed away.

Norman was a board member with TDCA and MLCC as well as a past board member of OCA.

Recently in his position as the President of Malton Cricket & Sports Club, he revived the turf pitches at his club and helped Cricket Canada in the hosting of the ICC u19 CWCQ.

Norman will be missed and his contribution to cricket not forgotten.’

via Cricket Canada.

Cricket Canada launches ‘On Drive’

Cricket Canada is pleased to announce the inaugural episode of ON DRIVE.  As part of Cricket Canada Radio, ON DRIVE will provide a behind the scenes look at Cricket Canada by talking to players and administrators from across the country.

The first episode looks at the ICC HP Batting and Bowling Camp, the upcoming tour to Jamaica, and the launch of Cricket Canada’s new poster campaign.

Listen

Let us know what you think!

Ontario Cricket Academy U-17 Team Tour to Trinidad and Tobago March 2010

The Ontario Cricket Academy will embark on its second tour to Trinidad and Tobago on March 12-22, 2010. The group which is mainly comprised of Under 17 players will face top level competition on the tour, most notably a match against the Trinidad and Tobago Under 16 XI. Other fixtures include top league opposition such as FCB Clark Road, Alescon Comets and Central Cricket League XI.

The Ontario Cricket Academy team will be hoping to improve on last year’s record of three wins and two losses, including a win over the South Trinidad U-16 XI. Coach Derek Perera believes that the OCA youngsters have the potential to beat the T&T opposition, “our team has 8 players who have represented Canada and Ontario at the youth level, and they have been working extremely hard over the last few months in preparation for this trip. If we play to our potential, we can win”.

Another highlight of the tour will be a day of coaching at the Queens Park Oval, led by former WICB Development Officer, Kumar Rampat. On the last trip, Rampat, who leads the coaching at QPCC’s Brian Lara Foundation, was so impressed with the Ontario youngsters that he officially stated at the closing ceremony, “As the former WICB Territorial Development Officer for Trinidad and Tobago (2003 – 2007), having seen all the youth teams visiting TT during this period, I can easily say that this is the best prepared youth team coming out of North America that I have witnessed. There are also several youngsters who have displayed skill levels beyond their chronological age”.

The Ontario Cricket Academy wishes to thank all sponsors and organizers who have made the trip possible, with a special mention to Caribbean Airlines for their continued support of the academy’s youth cricket program.

Team:

Abhi Vaishnav (Captain)

Nikhil Dutta

Jasjeet Kalsi

Pratik Marathe

Jonathan Alexander

Amir Towheed

Trevor Manoosingh

Swapnil Abrol

Darren Ramsammy

Jaisal Patel

Rishi Kanjani

Faizan Ansari

Azeem Ali

Coaches/Managers: Derek Perera, Sunil Khandor, Trinidad Liaison: Rishi Bal

As someone that was born and raised in Ontario, I really wish we had an academy like this when I was younger!

I am very impressed with the level of coaching Ontario Cricket Academy players are receiving.  Derek Perera and Sunil Khandor have established an academy that provides young players with an ideal place to learn the sport and gain invaluable experience.

Visit the Ontario Cricket Academy Homepage for more information on their programs.

Here’s a news article from Trinidad on the teams performance last year.  The one thing that stood out the most for me, was that last years team featured only 4 players that were not born in Canada.  The rest were 1st generation Canadians.  We’re beginning to see more Canadian born players starting to pick up the game and that is very welcome news.

Cricket Canada RFP for Abbotsford Recreation Ground Turf Wicket Project

Cricket Canada in association with Cricket British Columbia is issuing a call for tender for the installation of turf wicket facilities at the Abbotsford Recreation Ground (ARG) in Abbotsford, British Columbia.

visit Cricket Canada for more information.

Cricket Canada Statement On T20 WCQ, Independent Review Of Program

After failing to qualify for the ICC T20 World Cup last week in Dubai, Cricket Canada issued this statement regarding the teams performance.

‘Last Thursday our senior men’s team lost to UAE to conclude the recent T20 Cricket World Cup qualification tournament without a win. Though we were not alone in not moving on in the tournament, Cricket Canada takes this failure to move on very seriously.

2009 was a banner year for Cricket Canada, there were many firsts and after a few sub-par years, performances had turned around with the men’s team while success continued in all our other programs. This included a return to the 50 over world cups for the men and the u19 team.

Obviously we felt that this would continue into 2010 with both our senior men’s team’s and u19 teams engaged in high profile tournaments.

Like our fans and supporters both the adminstration and players expected more out of the first two months of the year and are deeply frustrated at the results. We are in a transition phase as we try to refresh our team with future stars while at the same time retain our commitment to putting a winning product on the field. This is not an easy task and we are paying the price for decades of stagnation in development programs in this country.

With this in mind, we are instituting a full review of all of our cricket programs. The review will commence later this month and will be spearheaded by person’s independant of Cricket Canada. We have asked that all of our personnel cooperate with us during this time and are confident we will emerge stronger and better prepared for the challenges that await us.

We thank you for your continued support’

via Cricket Canada.