Canada November 2, 2009

Cricket Canada in crisis after loss of major sponsor

Struggling Cricket Canada has been dealt a major blow with the news that Scotiabank, its main sponsor, has terminated its three-year contract early because of what it claims is “unsatisfactory performance” by the board.

Struggling Cricket Canada has been dealt a major blow with the news that Scotiabank, its main sponsor, has terminated its three-year contract early because of what it claims is “unsatisfactory performance” by the board.

The deal is coming to the end of its first year and while on the field Canada’s performances have been improving, the conduct of the board continues to cause concern. A letter from Scotiabank to recently-appointed CEO Chandra Gocool did not deal in specifics, merely stating that the decision had been made “after careful review and analysis of the cost/benefit, the various program deliverables” and also a review of the board’s “internal/public challenges, and its future direction”.

Although Scotiabank will honour the first year of the contract in full, the second and third years were worth around US$500,000. Given the withdrawal of such a high-profile sponsor and the well-documented problems within Canadian cricket’s administration, it will prove hard to find a replacement, certainly in the short term.

One source was quoted in the media as warning the loss of Scotiabank would seriously impact on all levels of cricket, from the national team right through to the grass-roots game.

Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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