Canada pull out of Under-19 hosting duties
After the 2010 Under-19 World Cup was stripped from Kenya, the 2012 Under-19 World Cup hosting duties were to be undertaken by Canada.
But it has been announced today that Cricket Canada has pulled out, citing an inability to get venues with the required facilities ready in time. ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said, "We are grateful to Cricket Canada for making what we recognize will have been a very difficult decision but their realistic and responsible approach allows ICC the time to find a suitable alternative venue."
An alternative host will be discussed at the ICC Board meeting in Dubai next week.
When the ICC named Malaysia as the first host for the Under-19 World Cup in 2008, they announced Kenya as hosts for 2010 and Canada for 2012. It is thought that increased demands for the quality of facilities required have led to the inability of Kenya and now Canada to host the tournament.
It was hoped that hosting the Under-19 World Cup would be a catalyst for the development of cricket in Canada and provide a much needed publicity boost. Plans had been drawn up to install turf wickets in many grounds outside of the Toronto area for the first time since the first half of the 20th century, a much needed development opportunity in the country.
Plans were already well under-way in Edmonton and Prince Edward Island, with talk also of Victoria, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Montreal gaining turf wickets, enabling them to host games in the tournament.
This decision can only be a setback for cricket in Canada, and many will be wondering if Cricket Canada jumped or were pushed into the decision by the ICC.