Canada pull out as Under-19 World Cup hosts
Canada have pulled out of hosting the 2012 Under-19 World Cup after admitting they wouldn't be able to supply the required number of venues for the event.
The move doesn't come as a huge surprise following the recent reports from Canada over the problems with various grounds and Cricket Canada wanted to make sure the ICC would have enough time to rearrange the tournament.
"It's very disappointing but it was simply a case of coming too soon," Ravin Moorthy, Cricket Canada's vice president told Cricinfo. "We wanted to make sure we'd give the ICC enough time to rearrange if we couldn't get the infrastructure ready, so we committed to April 2010 and we're not quite there."
Last month the former Cricket Canada CEO, Atul Ahuja, hit out at the preparations in a wide-ranging letter which slammed the administration. "The ICC had installed 10 turf wickets for the ICC Trophy in 2001," he said. "Currently, none of those are operational."
Moorthy, however, hit back at these claims and was at pains to point out that the pitches were not the issue. "We have 10 turf pitches, that's no problem for us. What we don't have is the other infrastructure - the pavilions and so on," he said. "We calculated we'd need between $2 to $2.5 million, and at this we've still got some way to go."
It is a blow to cricket in Canada but Moorthy remains confident that the long-term development of the game is still in good order and is hopeful of securing enough funding to stage future events.
"We are in regular contact with government and things are going fairly well. Cricket is very important to the social fabric of the South Asian community in Canada and funders understand that. We should be in a position to host these types of global tournaments soon."
In January the Canada board told Cricinfo it was confident of bringing facilities up to standard in time, but conceded defeat earlier this month when they wrote to ICC.
"We are grateful to Cricket Canada for making what we recognise will have been a very difficult decision but their realistic and responsible approach allows ICC the time to find a suitable alternative venue," said ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat.
ICC will discuss possible alternative venues during the boarding meeting in Dubai on April 19 and 20.
Sahil Dutta is assistant editor of Cricinfo