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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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.

ICC Global Cricket Academy Set To Visit Ontario

The Ontario Cricket Association will be partnering with the ICC Global Cricket Academy in Dubai to provide a 1 week training camp to be held in the greater Toronto area for the top players in Ontario.

OCA President Mike Kendall was notably excited at the news that former test players Mudassar Nazar (Pakistan) and Rodney Marsh (Australia) would be conducting the camp and they will also provide opportunities for 6 OCA coaches to learn from the experience as well.

‘It gives me a great pleasure to inform you that OCA, in partnership with ICC Global Cricket Academy Dubai, is conducting a Cricket Training Camp in the GTA area, for our best propects in Ontario. The camp will be run from 30th March to 05 April, 2010 and will primarily focus on our younger players.

We are very fortunate to be able to benefit from the vast experience and knowledge of the Academy Director Mr. Rodney Marsh and Head Coach Mr. Mudassar Nazar, who will be personally conducting the training with assistance from 6 OCA coaches. This is one of a kind camp ever conducted in any of the ICC Associate countries and we are very lucky and proud to be hosting it here in Canada.

The rigorous training will focus not only on Batting and Bowling skills but also on fielding, physical fitness, mental development with a focus on various aspects of the game, video analysis, player profiling and progress reports etc. that is sure to provide our top players with an added edge, during any game or competition.’

The OCA had already sent out correspondence to it’s member leagues to put together a list from each league of ‘elite level’ players to be short listed for Ontario’s inter provincial matches this summer. The goal is that this training camp will help find talented cricketers and give them a platform for selection into the Canadian side.

Kendall also added that while this was an Ontario Cricket Association initiative, the OCA will be sending invitations to all Cricket Canada member provinces.

‘Although OCA has arranged this camp for the benefit of Ontario players, I personally feel very strongly that for development of Cricket in Canada, players across the country should have the opportunity to benefit from it as well. Therefore I will be forwarding this email to Cricket Canada and to all provincial directors, so that their players could also participate.’

OCA will be looking for sponsors for this event to help cover some of the costs.

‘Cost per player is $400.00 which includes everything except lodging, dinners and transportation to and from players’ home. This cost has been heavily subsidized by the OCA.’