Newly appointed CEO outlines ambitious plans October 18, 2007

Canada to take inspiration from ice hockey

Cricinfo staff

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Canada's recently appointed chief executive, Atul Ahuja, will be taking inspiration from his country's high profile sports such as ice hockey in a bid to increase the level of professionalism of cricket.

Ahuja, an Indian-born Canadian citizen with extensive business experience, takes up the role on November 1 and is confident that the shorter format of the game, in particular Twenty20, will prove popular in Canada.

"Cricket holds a huge potential in Canada that needs to be tapped," he told The Economic Times in India. "Typically, for the North American demographics the five-day test match version of the game is somewhat boring. Canada and the US are largely non-cricket playing nations and the psyche of sports lovers is not attuned to a game that goes on for five days.

"But the new shorter Twenty20 format has changed all that. We saw a huge interest in the Twenty20 matches in Canada - and the excitement created by the fireworks and cheerleaders was not just restricted to South Asians in Canada."

And the high level of professionalism in Canada's mainstream sports, such as ice hockey and football, can and should have a beneficial impact on the future of cricket in the country.

"We at the association would like to see professional contracts being drawn up for cricketers in Canada and various events at the provincial level as well," he said. "The league events for games such as baseball and football are a big draw and the same could be done for cricket.

"It's a power-packed format of the game [Twenty20] and we have some events lined up in this format in Canada in the coming months.

"In India, only the top 20-30 cricketers earn good money. We intend to change that and want to take the game to most of our provinces and colleges and universities."

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  • Faseeh on October 21, 2007, 16:22 GMT

    well if you look most of these ppl who play for canada are Canadian citizen so they should be counted as homegrown talent. Most of these guys play in the domestic leagues in Canada. i agree with the fact that people who do not play in canada should not be selected like the case of davison and geoff barnett. If you are a regular player in Canadian domestic league then you have every right to play for Canada.

  • Faseeh on October 20, 2007, 23:05 GMT

    i agree with dutta on a few points here especially about the selection. The U19 selection was biased. It was already known who was going to be on the team even before the tryouts started. It didnt matter how good you were, if you were not in 'the group' you were not going to get picked. I will say out of 15 spots, 13 were already picked before the tryouts started. The five players sent to india for training is also a good example. No one knew when the offer came and how the players got picked but all was known that these selected individuals r going to india under the CCA. There is a lot of closeness in the CCA selection process and they need to more open with teh rest of the cricketers in canada.

  • Ashwin on October 20, 2007, 19:12 GMT

    first of all... canada should field more 'HOME GROWN'talent, if you look at their team the one that went to kenya, EVERY SINGLE person was ASIAN!!! thats not a really really weak ASIA xi!!! GOD SAKES!!! how can a load of sri lankans and indians represent canada when they hold no ties to the country!??!? the game should take firm roots in the country, extending beyond the asian and carribean community... first do that, then worry about paying players etc...

  • Soham on October 19, 2007, 18:33 GMT

    I think the new CEO must begin by understanding the current system of Canadian Cricket. There are many individuals in the administration who have tremendous passion for the game but limited knowledge of the "inner workings". I think an advisory committee should be set up (5 member panel of which 4 are EX-FIRST CLASS PLAYERS and a former coach). Their responsibility should be to analyze the current system (some of the strengths and areas of improvement) and this should be used as a framework to develop a solid base of players/coaches. Once this is complete (and I'm sure many of the points mentioned by "dutta" will come into play,) the CEO will be able to develop a strategic plan for the next 5 to 10 years. This is where I hope qualification to the 2011 WC first on his list of goals.

  • Mihir on October 18, 2007, 11:26 GMT

    1. Canada should have corporate sponsors to pay thier top 30 players( annual contract ) including some U19 players and the coaches 2. Support the Cricket Academies who produce lot of top quality good Cricketers by running their Programs throughout the year with financial contrans .CCA do not support any Cricket Academy in Canada 3. Proper Selection process,both Juniorand Senior Canada team,players selected based on their ability instead of quota system.This year U19 for WCQ team selection was biased based on few individuals who wants to kids to be in the team only and vistimised few good U19 players to lose against Bermuda in thier crunch match.No Accountability. 4. Five junior players selected by CCA for one month cricket coaching thru BBCI @ Bangalore in Aug 2007. On what basis the players were selected and who selected them needs an explanation?The selection was not Transparent though they had gone under the banner of CCA.

    More questions, few answers.

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