Canada Cricket Online

Canada's elites face stern test at Victoria Day Cricket Festival

6 April 2005

OCA Press release

Cricket gourmets across the GTA and beyond won't have to wait for the main course in mid-summer to sample the good stuff.

The Ontario Cricket Association, in partnership with the Canadian Cricket Association, is serving up an appealing appetizer with the first  Victoria Day Cricket Festival at Sunnybrook Park in Toronto May 21-23.

The three-day event is intended to serve three purposes, according to new OCA president Errol Townshend: a spicy start to the local 2005 season; a chance for the national selectors to take a last look at elite players from across Canada before the 14-man squad for the ICC Trophy in Ireland is selected; simulate the highly-charged competitive atmosphere that the squad is likely to face there.

Canada is one of 12 Associate countries seeking the five spots up for grabs in Ireland that will entitle the lucky ones to compete against the Test-playing countries at the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies.

To ensure there is an extra keen edge to the three back-to-back games pitting a CCA President's X1 against an OCA President's X1 there will be modest winner-take-all cash prizes, Man-of-the-Match and Man-of-the Festival awards. To test fitness and endurance and to allow more bowlers and batsmen to strut their stuff the games will be 60 overs (maximum 10 overs per bowler), 10 overs more than normal.

Canada is drawn in the toughest group in Ireland with three of the top four finishers from the 2001 event in Toronto: Netherlands, Namibia and Scotland. The schedule is also challenging: Canada plays Namibia in the first game July 1 and Scotland the very next day.

"These will definitely not be your usual boring trial or exhbition games" said Townshend. "the players will be tested as never before. The only thing we don't want to replicate is the rain In Ireland. Hopefully, for the 14 survivors who don't get tossed off the island after a weekend with dear old Queen Vic, the ICC Trophy should be a romp in the park" he quipped