The nominations for the elections to the Cricket Canada board were announced today. The elections will be held next weekend. Four positions are up for election, the President, Secretary and two directors (Vice-president Rashpal Bajwa, Treasurer: Charles Pais and Directors at large Harjinder Dhillon, Ranjit Chaudhri were elected last year on two-year terms).
The candidates are:-
President: Ranjit Saini and Rashpal Bajwa
Secretary: Amanda Pooran, Ms Charlie Wall-Andrews and Farhan Khan
Directors (2 positions): Mohamed Sheikh, Amjad Bajwa, Ms Charlie Wall-Andrews, and Gurdeep Klair.
Some of these names will be familiar to those who follow cricket in Canada, others perhaps not so much.
For the top job, Ranjit Saini is seeking re-election for a third consecutive term. He first became president in late 2009, moving up from vice-president, acting in interim fashion after the previous president stepped down. He was elected president in 2010, but lost the election in 2012. He became president again in 2016, but the elections were challenged, so had to stand again in 2017 for a 1 year term. He was successful and was re-elected in 2018. This last term at the top has been highlighted by the Global T20, but has also seen the national team decline in the rankings, as well as a number of controversies hitting the media and Facebook. Saini has a long history with cricket in Ontario.
Rashpal Bajwa has been vice-president of Cricket Canada since 2016, after previous experience with administration in Cricket BC, with the BC Mainland league and later as president of Cricket BC.
This is an interesting contest; it is not unusual for a vice-president to seek the presidency, but to run against the incumbent president suggests there may be a division of opinion within the board – hinted at by Saini in his recent Sporttrends interview. If Bajwa is successful, then his vice-president position will become vacant, likely meaning one of the board will be appointed vice-president . The Cricket Canada voting structure means that the candidate who can command the votes of the “big” provinces- Ontario, BC and Alberta – is in a strong position to win. It is likely that Bajwa will have BC’s vote, and Saini’s strong support of the Alberta Cricket Association (over the claims of the Alberta Cricket Council) will likely secure Alberta’s four votes. Thus the casting of Ontario’s four votes is likely crucial.
For the secretary position, it is good to see two female candidates. Amanda Pooran is the incumbent – she was elected two years ago and at the time we were unable to find much information about her. That remains the case- she is from Ontario and was elected as part of a “slate” led by Ranjit Saini. It is likely that her chances of re-election will mirror the president’s. Farhan Khan, based on his Linkedin profile, is a manager with Ernst and Young, and has volunteer experience with the Toronto Cricket Club, the TDCA and Cricket Ontario. He has been president of the Canadian Corporate Cricket League, Vice-president TDCA and a director of Cricket Ontario.
The least familiar name is that of Charlie Wall-Andrews. A quick google provides lots of background on her, but fails to show any connection to cricket. She is obviously a highly qualified individual who maintains a web site at https://www.charlieandrews.ca/
She appears to have extensive experience with not-for-profits, an MBA as well as other degrees, and a number of awards. There is perhaps an argument for Cricket Canada looking for board members with strong qualifications, irrespective of cricketing background in order to improve management, administration and inclusion. However without any knowledge of why she wants to become involved she will be very much an outsider in this race.
The Director list has one incumbent, Mohammed Sheikh, a long term board member and president of the TDCA. He reportedly had a major hands-on role with the Global T20, and likely will have the support of Ontario at least as he seeks re-election. The mysterious Charlie Wall-Andrews is also standing for a director position. Amjad Bajwa is president of Cricket BC, and stood unsuccessfully last year for director. Gurdeep Klair is president of the Edmonton and District Cricket League, and presumably will be supported by the ACA vote for Alberta.
As usual there will be deal making and planning behind the scenes. Again, we refer you to our guide to Cricket Canada voting from earlier this year. With four current board members standing, it seems unlikely there will be major change, but tune in on the weekend to find out!