Cricket Canada is disheartened to learn the International Cricket Council has elected to not allow Associate cricket nations such as Canada into the 2015 Cricket World Cup. While it is apparent that the push for a 10 team tournament supports the needs of the sponsors and broadcasters who ultimately fund much of our programs, we were very disappointed to learn that there would be no qualification process for the 2015 Cricket World Cup.
From the results of the recently completed 2011 Cricket World Cup in the subcontinent, it is apparent that Associate nations are able to compete at the international level and need more encouragement to develop their high performance teams against the full member nations. Canadian players turned out strong performances in this world cup and the decision will surely mark the end of world cup careers for several of our players in the prime of their careers.
An additional disappointment will be players who gained experience at this world cup like 20 year old Hiral Patel. Hiral, who hit a blistering half century against defending champions Australia, will be closer to the end of his career by the time he gets a chance to compete in the games marquee event again. We have had significant interest and profile generated in Canadian cricket as a result of our participation in the world cup, and this increase in our sport would surely wane if we are not allowed to participate in the world cup for at eight years or more.
The ICC has pointed to the fact that the Twenty20 world cup has been expanded to include more associate and affiliate teams but as many of us know, while Twenty20 is a way to develop the commercial enterprise of the game it is not a way forward to develop the game itself in all its forms. This short-sighted decision also has far reaching effects as it will become more difficult to raise money from governments and corporate partners, both of who strive to be associated with the game at its highest level.
Cricket Canada proposes a conference of all stake holders be called to discuss the path forward for the associates and affiliates. It is important that representatives from all major groups including Full members, Associate Members and Affiliate Members attend this session and put forward their positions in an open and objective manner to arrive at a solution that is fair to all. Only by consulting all stakeholders can we arrive at an amicable solution.
Cricket Canada is very grateful for the overwhelming support that has been received from around the world regarding this decision and we are working with our associate and affiliate partners to bring about a satisfactory compromise. We encourage all followers of the game around the world to continue to lobby your local administrators as well as the ICC to reverse this tragic decision.