Canadian cricket is going through a major overhaul following the loss of its ODI status, lack of qualification for the World Cup (after 4 previous appearances) and the increased illusivity of making it to the World T20 stage. Morally down and haggard, Canada is looking at an intense makeover.
The obvious fallout of the loss of ODI status was the exit of the old board and creation of a new board with new people. The goals and future plans are taking shape as Canada reevaluates its strategies. Raza-ur-Rahman, one of the key players, says that the lack of senior players could hurt the Canadian side for two reasons- lack of experience to build a team in a moment of crisis and the increased pressure for the youngsters to prove themselves and enter the team. Rather than build on the goodwill established by the senior player, proving themselves and then making the team could be a while coming.
Former President of the Canadian Cricket board Ravin Moorthy has exited without building Canada as a commercially viable brand. Endorsements were never a big deal and some of the negotiations seriously fell through. This could have been possible while they were rebuilding their image with the ICC and it would have worked wonders. Financially too, Canadian cricket was/is against the wall. Despite these roadblocks, there have been a few successes like the streamlining of the management which ensured better selection and training patterns along with the development of first class cricket. The domestic season was reinstated which culminated into successfully executed and telecast tours against USA and UAE. Cricketers from across Canada made the team which allowed for more diversity. Yet this was hampered by the lack of equal representation of players from all regions. Ontario, which produces a significant amount of players in the national team, remains under-represented while smaller towns like Alberta fare even worse. Toronto which is the hub has its own share of issues. Cricket Canada’s issues with Maple Leaf Cricket Club continues as the spaces are used but payments are not made. Representation also seems a problem here.
This is where the new president Vimal Hardat has a chance of making an impact. He has a lot of building and rebuilding to do- rejuvenate Cricket Canada, lead from the front for a meaning and respectful stature and role for Canada at the ICC. And most importantly in international cricket. Financially , the board is in need for a boost of funds and initiatives that would give them the funds.
Hardat’s immediate plans are to regain the ODI status and work hard at qualifying for the World T20- which means team building. It is too early to dismiss them as undeserving as Cricket Canada has gotten itself on the road to recovery- at least on paper. In actuality, their successes remains to be seen