Canada news March 26, 2009

Sennik brushes aside 'unfortunate' rows

Cricinfo staff

Cricket Canada president Ben Sennik has broken his silence and spoken about the recent turmoil within the board which has seen the departure of several senior figures.

Cricinfo has repeatedly tried to speak to Sennik in recent weeks, without success, but in an interview with the Toronto Sun he brushed off the situation as "unfortunate".

In January, chief executive Atul Ahuja was removed and then earlier this month first vice-president Mike Kendall walked out, but not before delivering a stinging broadside at Sennik. Sennik insisted Ahuja's dismissal was "a majority decision of the board" and that he believes for Kendall to complain about that vote in public after the fact wasn't "very ethical."

"I know he questioned my leadership," Sennik told the newspaper. "All these things happened after Atul was let go. Mike was on the board for almost 15 months and everything was kosher. His resignation was a surprise. He's [Kendall] a nice gentleman. From Cricket Canada's point of view everything is working like a charm. We don't feel any deficiency."

But Sennik made clear that he was unconcerned what anyone thinks of him, and pointed to the turnround in finances as evidence of how well he has done. When he took over in 2003 "we were a bankrupt organisation … we had no audited balance statements. This year our budget has gone to $1 million and the deficit is gone. We are eligible for money from Sport Canada and have big sponsors like Scotia Bank."

Sennik finished on a typically bullish note, insisting that Canada would be one of the top four team at the ICC World Cup Qualifiers - "We're going to the World Cup in 2011," he predicted. Critics are less convinced, and there are a number who believe Canada could be pushed to finish in the top six. If they don't then their ODI status will disappear, and that will result in a considerable drop in funding.