The whole is greater than the sum of the parts and the truth can set you free

Jon Harris


I was planning a quiet afternoon watching cricket. As often is the case, my day in the sun did not work out as I had anticipated. My sun hat, chair and picnic lunch were never liberated from the car.

As an old white guy, with white beard and white hair, it continues to amaze me how many younger people want to talk to me about cricket. The questions are numerous and searching.

I have found that cricketers are the same everywhere. All they want to do is get out on the field and play the game they love. So it is strange that, at first, so many of them seem to be worried about the future of the game in Canada. No matter what I might suggest to cricketers about the inherent good health of cricket in Canada, there is this sense of angst, uneasiness and worry.

It turns out that the cricketers have concerns about the way the Canadian Cricket Association is administering their game. It is the players game. If the players did not have the passion for the game the raison d’ętre for the Canadian Cricket Association would not exist. To be absolutely clear, it is fundamental that the institution is the servant. If that is not the case, and the players have become subservient to the agenda of the institution which administers the sport, then the root cause of disaffection is self-apparent.

The players want answers, which results in this old white guy being bombarded with questions. The players do not seem to get it that no matter what the Canadian Cricket Association does, or does not do, cricket will continue to be played from coast to coast.

Why is it that the regular Joe Cricketer, most often a first generation new Canadian, or the progeny of that generation, have bought into the idea that unless the Canadian team goes to South Africa for the World Cup the game in Canada will somehow disappear, or fall into disrepute?

If I could talk with the President of the Canadian Cricket Association, I might learn something which I could communicate to the cricketers.  Unfortunately the President of the CCA will not talk with me. Instead, I had a  conversation with Ron Fanfair and related this to him. His only response was laced with ironic laughter as he simply commented, “Well that’s the story, isn’t it, ... he won’t talk to you”.

The following are transcriptions of e-mail correspondence exchanged with the President of the Canadian Cricket Association:

Subject:  Commentary on Junior cricket
Date:      Mon, 06 May 2002 05:22:29 ‑0400
From:     Jon & Sandi <>
To:         "" <>, manager <>

Dear Geoff:

Thank you for your responding to the "Commentary".

You wrote that "Canada intends to participate in an U‑15 team in Texas and there will be a Canadian XI (not Team Canada) in the U‑13 if funds can be realized for these and other events.". What are the projected costs for each of the two teams?

You wrote that "We need positive reinforcement and "good news" to promote the game of cricket in Canada and in the Americas‑ not the trashy negativism that has been promoted in some articles in recent weeks and months.". (What ‘good news’ stories can you suggest? I am quite prepared to consider writing about them.)

You wrote that  "I am unable to write about our involvement in the Tournament to meet your deadline as it would be incomplete info.  Later we can probably provide accurate information. (What is the deadline for advising the parents of the young cricketers, in order that the parents can make the appropriate family arrangements?)

You wrote that "Canadian teams are selected by Canadian selectors‑ both junior and senior. (Who are the selectors? What criteria are used to select the selectors, and who appoints them?)

You wrote that "Any Dads who have been involved with junior cricket must surely know the process and especially the Ontario resident selectors.". (Would you provide some names of Dads who know the process and the names of the “Ontario resident selectors”?)

You wrote  "FOR THE RECORD.
There is normally a levy for these tournaments for players who qualify and who are deemed capable and warrant selection.".
(Who pays the levy? How is the amount of the levy determined? To whom is the levy paid?)

You wrote that "Canada at present leads the Americas in cricket development.”. (How is this monitored, and which organisation makes that determination?)

You wrote that  "We need  reinforcement to ‘foster and promote’  and to keep and to increase that lead.  You can help us by positives ‑ not negatives for negatives' sake". (Perhaps you would take a few moments to indicate which were the “negatives for negatives’ sake”.)

You wrote  "Again thanks for your preview.  If there are any questions, please feel free to call.”. (I am quite prepared to call and discuss the issues. You should understand that I would make a record of your comments. There are many questions, so send me a note and give me a time and date when it would be convenient to talk for about an hour. If you would find it more amenable for you to have the discussion over breakfast, lunch or dinner, just select the place, choose the date, set the time, and I will pick up the tab.  Beyond the issues about youth cricket I would like to understand in what way the CCA has advised affiliated Associations and Clubs, about the new 2000 Code of the Laws of Cricket, and in fact a whole host of other topics. However, I will cede the setting of the agenda to you. Feel free to invite Robert Weekes to join us.).

Keep playing with a straight bat,
Jon Harris

Re:         Commentary on Junior cricket
Date       Mon, 6 May 2002 09:44:06 EDT

Dear Jon:

Due to extenuating circumstances, I am not at this time able to respond to most [of] the questions raised.  

I shall attempt to have some answers for you or to have another officer respond.  Kevin Boller, our PRO, may be of assistance in much of the material re the working of the CCA.  All persons selected are selected by the Board or its committees.  I am not involved in selection and I am not able to provide names of Dads, for example.

PLEASE NOTE: I am not interested in being quoted on your website.

Playing with a straight bat is great advice.

Regards & Thanks,


Diary entry - Jon Harris
Saturday May 11, 2002

Visit to Ross Lord Park - watch cricket match CCA Under-23 Selects. I approach Geoff Edwards and in front of several others suggest to him that “We should talk. Can you and I go for a walk around the field?”

GE responds: “Can I take a rain check on that?”   
JH:  “It’s your call”. 

GE walks away and talks to the group of players and spectators sitting on the open bleachers.   A few minutes later I am approached and told that GE has instructed that no one should talk with me.

That, of course, is not the end of the story. Many people did talk with me. They want to talk. They do not understand why the CCA is run the way it is. They keep asking questions. I have no answers for them. They want me to ask the questions. The young aspiring players cannot ask the questions for fear of being sanctioned. Now that is a whole other story.                                                                                                                             


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