What the dickens is happening with Canadian cricket?


Jon Harris
e-mail: hennessy.harris@sympatico.ca


Charles Dickens wrote in 1868, while he was in America and Canada, a letter concerning the organisation of the Gad's Hill Cricket Club, which was to be composed both of 'gentlemen' and 'working men'. "The first thing to be avoided," he told his son, "is the slightest appearance of patronage .. The second thing to be avoided is, the deprival of the (working) men of their just rights to manage their own affairs ...".

From an idea developed 135 years ago, I find this a particularly interesting observation because it was on this trip that Dickens visited Canada, traveling from Niagara Falls through Toronto to Montreal. The concept that 'the men', the cricketers, should have the 'just rights to manage their own affairs' is basic to Canadians as a whole, today. However, in Canada, today, you the cricketers, have been stripped of that 'just right'.

The Canadian Cricket Association rules without consultation. You, the cricketers, have no direct vote about who will govern 'your' game. Therefore you, the cricketers, have no direct avenue for any realistic voice, or participation, for the governance of 'your' game.

What to do?

You have to start with your own club and you have to start now, before the season starts.

The officers of your club should be directed to demand 1) that the CCA takes responsibility for creating a more direct form of representation 2) that there be program development, and funding, of all aspects of cricket across the country 3) that the CCA be an open, transparent, and accountable organisation answerable to the general cricket community from coast to coast.

The programs required include the education of cricket coaches; the creation of an environment for cricketers who stop playing to continue their involvement in 'our' game; the education of cricketers about the new laws of cricket as per the ICC Code 2000; the creation of an educational program for the administrators of Canadian cricket in such area as ..... record keeping ... most especially financial.

Any rational clear thinking cricketer knows that without good, verifiable record keeping, the scorebook, there is essentially no cricket. Without 'the scorebook' initialed by the umpires, funding for cricket from business and government is a pipe dream. The current cricket administration at a national level, and in other places, is challenged in this basic element of governance.

My own view of this scenario is that there is neither the will, nor the functional intellectual capacity within the CCA to deliver. Therefore, as the direct phrase goes ... let's kick the bastards out. The replacements could not do any worse ... we may get lucky ... there is a chance they could do better ... there certainly is no possibility of bringing the game into a greater sense of disrepute. The whole lot of them, with maybe one exception, should be cited under the same laws as the players.

Unfortunately the I.C.C forgot to include such a proviso in Code 2000.

Yes, Dickens visited Toronto .... hmmm ... I wonder if he visited the Toronto Cricket Club ... back to the library.