English perspective on the match at King City


Roy Adams
"Roy and Lyn Adams" UK
e-mail: 12thman@canadacricket.com we will forward all messages on.

I have been to many grounds with varying facilities, but have confined comparisons to club grounds in Britain which occasionally host county matches, and also with a recent rugby international in Markham, which drew a similar crowd for a largely amateur and minority sport. It would be unfair to compare with Lord's or similar grounds.

Gaining admission
Maple Leaf CC have no directions to their ground on their website, and we had trouble finding our way there.

Car parking was easy (we arrived early) and cheap, but it was difficult getting away. Part of the reason was that the stewards were not up to the job in the morning, and some latecomers blocked up the only exits. I know that some who wanted to leave early had to wait for an hour or more to get out.

We were amazed that there was no admission charge. For a national authority staging one of the big matches of its season, with a large crowd, and when it has publicly stated that it is strapped for cash, this is incredible. We paid about $45 per ticket for the rugby a month before, and were not unhappy to do so. We willingly gave a decent donation when asked by the local president, but it's not the way to generate income.

We gained the impression that the club matches taking place at the same time were more important than the international. Why did the two teams have to change in a tent, when there was a proper pavilion nearby for the club players?

Seating was almost non-existent, despite the fact that it would have been possible at the very least to move the small benches placed around other pitches to the main one. Was the hiring of temporary stands not considered?

People serving in the pavilion bar were clearly overwhelmed by the demand; another source of revenue lost.

For a crowd estimated at 2,000, one portaloo in addition to the cubicles in the pavilion were clearly inadequate.

Spectator information
There was no programme or scorecard available for the public, nor any form of PA system, so we did not know who was playing. All we had to go on were the names on the shirts, and even they were wrong at times (Canada fielded two #11s called Sanjay)

The scoreboard which most people could see was not used; the one which few people could see, was. The result was that spectators were going on to the field of play to check the score. If any thought had been given to spectator needs, at least the tents could have been pitched elsewhere as they blocked out the view for many.

Overall impression
Our general view of proceedings was that no effort was made to treat this game as anything but an ordinary club match, despite the obvious opportunity to make a favourable impression on the wider public and to earn some money. Perhaps the crowd was 20 times what was anticipated: perhaps no one was able to get any volunteers to help in the
preparation. The fact that three other games were being played at the same time also detracted from the occasion.

Despite all these criticisms, we were not put off, and enjoyed the game We were impressed with the standard of cricket in Canada, and shall watch your progress in the World Cup with added interest.



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