|Schisms in Canadian cricket reflect the reality of Canada|
in Canadian cricket appear to mirror the schisms within the country as a
whole. In the far west the twin ribbons of rail and highway, the symbolic
and physical links between Alberta and British Columbia, are rarely used
by cricketers. To some degree this is also true of commerce and government.
Saskatchewan, sandwiched between the other Prairie provinces, is an island
to itself in the Canadian cricket scene and in a political sense has always
been different from its
neighbours. Manitoba, the quiet engine of youth cricket, is symbolically tied by the umbilical cord of the Red River to neigbours to the south and separated from the commercial engine to the east by vast wilderness. The divide between Ontario and Quebec is so well recorded as to be almost axiomatic, both in terms of cricket and history. And then there are the down-easterners somewhere on the other side of Quebec, surviving and struggling essentially on their own.
The task of administration for our country has always been mammoth, and this is also true of cricket. The point is particularly relevant at this moment in Canadian cricket history, now that the administration of our game is virtually a one man band. That may also be a truism for Canada.
Kipling wrote of the flanneled fools at the wicket, at about the time that cricket was introduced to areas beyond the Kybher Pass, (1860):
Kiplings observation pretty well summarizes and reflects the views I have heard in the last six months. I should clarify that heard means communications in all modes and forms current in todays cricket world.
I believe that
the collective wisdom of the masses will always, eventually, prevail.
I heard, or overheard, the word shambles and its equivalent, as a descriptive
for the management of our game at the national level. Often, and in many
places from Vancouver to Toronto, other more severe words replaced management.
I do not expect to hear too much of a variation on the theme when I visit
Montreal in the fall. It may happen that with a shrug characteristic of
the Quebecois I will
this past month have shown me that the resolve of the average cricketer
is to get on with his own game. To the average cricketer, whose aspirations
are to play regularly for his club, the national association is no more
than an irrelevant distraction. One might turn that around and ask, "What
benefit does the CCA bring to the average club and its members".
At the club level I have determine that cricket is alive, vibrant, and
unfettered by massive debt and unrealistic expectations. And why would
it be anything else? There is no game plan.
Of course everyone
knows that in order to implement a plan there is a requirement for strategy
and resources. All these factors are based on the pre-condition of intellectual
capacity to comprehend the dimension of the task. Do I think that there
is the resource of intellectual capacity? Most certainly I do, however
it is at the grassroots of our game, and not demonstratably vested and
focused in a few individuals who are at the locus of the power structure.
You, the cricketers have to make a choice. As the song goes, you can just
keep dancing or you can be
The tossed coin is in the air, and it is your call, but remember to keep playing with a straight bat.
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