There seems to be little, if any, advance publicity for the ICC Americas Under-19 Regional Qualifier that is due to start on Monday July 8, 2019. A stepping stone for one country’s junior cricketers to the 2020 ICC U19 Cricket World Cup (CWC) in South Africa.
The top team from a single round-robin 50-over games involving five countries at Maple Leaf Cricket Club, King City, Ontario during the next eight days wins a place in that U19 CWC. But there does not appear to be the slightest indication this important junior cricket event is taking place after reviewing several current issues of ethnic newspapers picked up in the Greater Toronto Area in the last 2-3 days.
Players from Argentina, Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands and the United States of America have gathered in the Greater Toronto in recent days as what may be the cricketing chance of a lifetime approaches.
Now there is a possibility that some pre-event publicity existed if it only included text and no picture or pictures in languages such as Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Tamil and Malayalam. Although I recently spotted a couple of items about the second edition of Canada’s GT20 in an Urdu newspaper thanks to the use of the GT20 logo.
Surely if you were on the Cricket Canada board and want the cricket community in the Greater Toronto Area to turn out in droves or even by the 2s and 3s to support the Canadian juniors then a picture or two of potential star junior cricketers from Canada and/or the USA appearing in a broad range of newspapers would be useful to promote awareness of the Americas U19 qualifier as some newspapers print in both Canadian and US cities.
Beyond newspapers, various media outlets have TV, social media and radio operations locally where news of Canadian and USA cricket could help advance the game across north American. Some of the media outlets are subsidiaries with parent companies in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka through which an awareness of cricket in the Americas beyond the West Indies could be built through more publicity.
Broader publicity would surely help the cause of expanding Canada’s GT20 and assist in generating funds to improve cricketing infrastructure over time to both better allow GT20 games to be played at better grounds in Canada and to improve the quality of playing areas and supporting facilities in the upper ranks of domestic and representative cricket.
Church Cricket trumps ICC Americas U19 Qualifier this week!
Several of the newspapers I have seen in recent weeks include news about the current Cricket World Cup being hosted by the England and Wales Cricket Board but seemingly nothing from Cricket Canada about the Americas U19 CWC Qualifier or even from Cricket Ontario about the Ontario Under-16 Regional tournament that concluded last Wednesday (3 July 2019).
The only story about Greater Toronto Area (GTA) cricket activity I saw in a wide range of newspapers was about the fourth Annual Church Cricket Festival of the Anglican Diocese of Toronto. It included a photo of Brampton Mayor Mr. Patrick Brown with several members of the St James the Apostle, Brampton squad. The picture and story are in “The Weekly Voice” (July 5, 2019).
I seem to think the 3rd Annual Church Cricket Festival in 2018 gained publicity in “The Caribbean Camera” but no news about the ICC Americas U19 Qualifier in the July 4, 2019 edition of “The Caribbean Camera”. The qualifier gained no mention in Toronto Caribbean (June 26, 2019), “Share” (June 27, 2019) or Indo-Caribbean World (July 3, 2019).
No shortage of ducks for the Americas U19 Qualifier in various Urdu newspapers or in in the English language sections of publications such as “Urdu Times” (July 3, 2019), “Weekly Pakistan News” (July 4, 2019), “Weekly Urdu Post” (July 4, 2019, includes “Asian Post” in English), “Pakistan Post” (July 4, 2019 which also includes “South Asian Generation Next” in English), Pakistan Times (July 4, 2019, also includes South Asian Gazette” in English), “Weekly Akhbaar-E-Pakistan” (July 5, 2019, includes South Asian Info) and B-Weekly Akhbar-E-Jahan (July 1, 2019).
“The Weekly Voice” (July 5, 2019) includes brief coverage and the photo of the Brampton Mayor with the St James the Apostle players but not a squeak about the ICC Americas U19 Regional Qualifier. Cana-India News (July 5, 2019), a weekly publication, drew a blank on the upcoming Americas U19 Qualifier as was also the case in the monthly “Monsoon Journal” (July 2019).
It seems I was rather late visiting one centre where many newspapers in a range of languages of the Indian sub-continent can be found. Just the one Gujarati newspaper was available: “Gujarat Abroad” (July 5, 2019). It included the 2019 CWC in England but not the Americas qualifier in the Greater Toronto Area. The Canada U19 squad includes players of Punjabi heritage but it looks like nobody alerted a the publishers of “Parvasi” of such potentially interesting news in time to be included in the 5 July 2019 weekly issue.
“Hindi Abroad” has carried news and pictures about Canadian cricket in the past but no obvious Canadian cricket content in the July 5, 2019. But there were items about India at the current World Cup.
More Ducks – More Opportunities to Make Canadian Cricket Known!
Evidence about the existence of the ICC Americas U19 Regional did not jump from the pages of several other newspapers as I turned many pages of newspapers such as “Canada Eelamurasu” (July 4, 2019), “Canada Ulahathamilar” (July 5, 2019), “Dasatha” (June 2019), Eelandu (5 July 2019), “Thaiveedu” (July 2019), , “Thamilar Senthamari” (5 July 2019). “Thangatheepam” (July 4, 2019), “Uthayan” (July 5, 2019) and “Vlambaram” (July 1, 2019).
A subscription form in “Sanghamam” states it is the largest circulated newspaper in the Malayalam language in the USA and Canada. It is published from New York, Chicago, Texas and Toronto. The July 4, 2019 edition includes some Cricket World Cup news from England and includes some pictures of players readily recognized on the international cricketing stage.
Beyond making some initial moves to make Canadian (or USA) cricket better known via the broad range of newspapers and through any related websites, TV and radio operations, there is a need to provide more information about the players who, for one reason or another, have been selected to play for the likes of Canada Under-19s or an Ontario Under-16 Regional team.
Presumably each player has been selected due to some special skills in batting or bowling, possibly due to specialist fielding skills or due to all round abilities. A rather bland list of names fails to provide any light about each players abilities. The Canada squad for this ICC Americas U19 Regional Qualifier includes four players who represented Canada at the 2018 ICC U19 World Cup in New Zealand.
Some would think it worthwhile to include such background information when teams or squads are disclosed but that’s not the way things are currently being done at the national level or at the Ontario level in Canadian cricket. A far from satisfactory situation in my opinion.
Eddie Norfolk July 8, 2019