CCA money woes 

Jan. 30, 2003

The Canadian Cricket Association (CCA) is finally admitting what many
had suspected for a long time: it over-extended itself financially by hosting
the 2001 International Cricket Council (ICC) Trophy tournament.

"We have still not paid all of our bills for that tournament," CCA president
Dr. Geoff Edwards acknowledged at a media conference last week to
introduce World Cup coach Gus Logie.

As has become customary, Dr. Edwards painted a bleak financial picture,
saying an urgent cash injection is needed to help the CCA run its programs.

"If this does not happen, we will be unable to host the junior Americas Cup
series this summer," he added.

The winner of the regional Under-19 tournament will advance to next year's
World Cup junior tournament.

When asked if he felt the CCA made a determined effort to attract
sponsorship, Dr. Edwards said: "We have been working very hard at it.
We tried to get some  volunteer help to do some marketing and secure some
sponsorship, but that was not successful.

"We looked at getting a skilled person for the job, knowing fully well that
that would have been done at a cost with that person taking a portion of
the funds  they raised. I was willing to do that, but I am constrained by the
executive board."

Richards fundraiser

Early last year, the CCA appointed local entrepreneur Howard Petrook to raise
funds for the cash-strapped organization. He was unable to garner significant
sponsorship though he did manage to organize a fundraiser last November with
former West Indies captain Sir Viv Richards as the feature attraction. Though it's
unclear how much each player received, a senior member told Share he got Can$730.

The CCA expected that Canada's qualification for the World Cup would have
attracted both government and private sponsorship. But that did not happen.

Dr. Edwards said he's extremely disappointed that sponsors did not step up to the plate.

"We are the number one team in the Americas and we need to have support and
exposure," he said.

While bemoaning the lack of local sponsorship, Dr. Edwards disclosed that the CCA
turned down four potential sponsors because of a possible conflict with the ICC
sponsors. Pepsi and LG Electronics are the global partners and Hero Honda and
South African Airways are the official sponsors of the World Cup.

Administrative assistant Austin Ward said the CCA has spent approximately
US$1 million in the past three years.

US$500,000 on facilities

"About US$500,000 of that amount was spent on the installation, preparation and
maintenance of turf pitches for the ICC tournament," said Ward. "That's in addition
to funds used for other facets of the tournament and subsequent tours undertaken
by our junior and senior teams."

Dr. Edwards claims that the ICC allocated US$375,000 to Canada to prepare
for the World Cup.

"However, that money did not come to the CCA," said Dr. Edwards. "A lot of it
was retained for the High Performance Manager's salary and the programs he
implemented. Less that US$275,000 has come to us."

Story has gaps

But former CCA second vice president Errol Townshend says the public is still
not getting the whole story of how of a financially independent organization has
been suddenly reduced to penury.

"How could they lose more than $300,000 in one year on one tournament?"
Townshend asked.

"Was the CCA's original bid for the ICC tournament not artificially low - just to
beat out Ireland and the USA - and now the chickens (bills) are coming home to
roost? Was Edwards not told early on that the ICC Trophy was a terrible financial
deal and did he heed that advice?

"And knowing they were in such a financial hole as far back as last April, why
did they try to dig themselves out of it by firing first vice president Ali Hasani, the
man who landed the Sahara Cup deal, and third vice president Ramesh Jagoo when
he was just about to land government funding?

"These are some of the questions Dr. Edwards should be giving straight answers to
instead of crying in his beer."


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