January 26, 2010

Canada

Canada cricket reaches for the SkyDome

Sahil Dutta

Cricket Canada has outlined ambitious plans to become a centre for staging international matches as part of a bid to raise the profile of the game, and a scheme for an indoor event features highly.

"We are working on investment in our infrastructure, money from government, and in addition we want some good international fixtures," Ranjit Saini, Cricket Canada's interim president, told Cricinfo. "We want to create a unique Canadian cricket event that people can look forward to every year.

"Annually we could have an event in the SkyDome [the Rogers Centre in Toronto], trying to create a mix of entertainment and cricket, that cricket lovers throughout the world can look forward to.

"It could be a sixes tournament like Hong Kong or could be Twenty20 as well, but we want to bring in an entertainment angle to it - perhaps with audience participation in some respect - but it's very early planning so that's all I'd want to say at this stage."

Canada has a difficult task attracting international cricket, not least because of the long winters when the country is covered in snow, but Saini felt that this could work to their advantage.

"We'd want something for the coming year. There are two proposals, one for summer and one for winter. My preference is for winter, because we're covered under snow and there could be real excitement with an indoor event, recognised throughout the world as a unique fixture."

Despite the ambitious idea, Saini is yet to make approaches to potential partners. "We haven't spoken to formally to any cricket board or TV company as yet, but we had an initial meeting with some interested parties in India on December 16."

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Dutta
Assistant editor Sahil Dutta grew up supporting England during the 90s. Despite this, he still enjoys the game. His unrequited passions for Graeme Hick and, in latter years, Vikram Solanki gave him a stoicism that guided him through an Economics degree and a stint working at the European Parliament. He maintains the purest love for Tests and the whims of legspin bowling and still harbours hope that he could be the answer to England's long search for a mystery spinner. As it is, his most exciting cricketing experience was planning a trip to Australia for the 2006-07 Ashes with two utterly indifferent friends. Unfortunately his lung collapsed shortly before his planned departure and the pair were left to wander around from Test to Test, unprepared and clueless. Any comparisons with England are far too obvious to make. That cancelled holiday inspired an Ashes blog which led, via some tea-making at the Wisden Cricketer, to the ESPNcricinfo towers.

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