I am the former Chief Executive of Cricket Canada (November 2007 to January 2009). The following, in 8 bullet-points, encapsulates issues of grave concern regarding Cricket governance in Canada. For too long, there has been a focus on sweeping issues under the carpet under the garb of "issues must remain within Cricket". With public money from the Federal Government and significant contribution from the International Cricket Council, the accountability and issues pulling down Cricket, need to be public.
Canada has a large Cricket-playing population and despite governance issues has qualified for the 2011 Cricket World Cup for the 3rd time in succession. The stable of natural talent is large, however player-development for international and top-level domestic Cricket remains an issue.
The first-ever major sponsor in Canadian cricket, Scotiabank, came aboard in 2008, and departed in late 2009. Sponsors do not see value in Cricket in Canada. There is little spectator-worthy cricket organized in Canada, barring 2008 when the West Indies Series and T20 Quadrangular pulled large crowds. The administration was unable to put in place a promised Schools Cricket program.
The only ICC-certified Cricket facility in the Toronto-area in King City is investigating its former-President (elected President of Cricket Canada this past weekend). The York Region Police has received a complaint of theft which is the subject of a major story in today's Toronto Star. This flagship Cricket facility received upward of approx $125,000 in 2008 and is now struggling to find $5,000 to get ready for the upcoming Cricket season. The ICC had installed 10 turf wickets for the ICC Trophy in 2001. Currently, none of those are operational. Tyre tracks and weeds on some of these pitches make them unplayable.
This was awarded to Canada in 2007 by the ICC. Till a few weeks ago at a City of Toronto meeting, Cricket officials showed up without a business plan. With no operational grounds and no sponsors, pulling this off will be a task.
There are no Development Programs, either at the School level, Under 15, Under 19 or Womens level. The last national championship was held in 2008.
Canada has lost 11 of 13 matches we played in the space of 30 days in January and February this year. Player morale is rock-bottom.
Again, nothing is being done.
The ICC has unsuccessfully tried to instill professionalism into Cricket in Canada. At best, the ICC is able to arm-twist. As an example, despite having departed in January 2009 my dues continue to remain outstanding 14 months later. I am regularly put through the merry-go-round in this regard and feel legal action is now the only option left. The list is long.
As former Chief Executive, beyond the large numbers and natural talent, I am concerned about the direction this sport is headed.