Canada January 29, 2010

Associates need big matches - Saini

Ranjit Saini, Cricket Canada's interim president, has told Cricinfo the real solution to developing Associate countries was to get their sides to play against high-profile opposition.

Ranjit Saini, Cricket Canada's interim president, has told Cricinfo the real solution to developing Associate countries was to get their sides to play against high-profile opposition.

"Sponsors want to be seen and we didn't have enough domestic TV and newspaper coverage to offer that. From our perspective, how do we get a Shahid Afridi or Sachin Tendulkar to Canada?"

In almost three years since the 2007 World Cup, Canada have only met a Full Member twice, both games coming against West Indies in August 2008.

Saini feels, given the competition with other countries as well, it's the responsibility of the ICC to ensure Associates get attractive fixtures. "Every country wants India to play, every country wants big players to play against them, but if the ICC and the Full Member nations sees value and want cricket in the smaller countries then a solution will have to be reached.

"If we don't get full member nations to play against us then we will continue to struggle."

Sahil Dutta is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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