November 2, 2009

Canada

Cricket Canada in crisis after loss of major sponsor

Martin Williamson

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.

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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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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Martin Williamson
Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.

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