Q&A with Daniel Rochon, Program Officer, Sport Canada.

Q: Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing from a new website called www.canadacricket.com. We are a group of cricket enthusiasts who wish to help grow the game in Canada. Recently the Canadian Cricket Association was in the news informing the public that there is not enough funds for them to help prepare the Men's National Team for the World Cup in 2003. Canada's qualifying for the World Cup is monumental accomplishment, earning a nomination for "Canadian Male Team of the Year" at the Canadian Sports Awards held recently in Toronto.

Recently, the chief organizer of the 2003 World Cup in South Africa had this to say about cricket in Canada:

Dr Bacher said that cricket in Canada enjoyed a surprisingly big following in its multi-cultural society. "Of the 30 million people in Canada, five million are avid cricket fans, and one out of four million people in Toronto are supporters of the game."

The Canadian team was traditionally made up of expatriates but the current one had five players born in Canada.

Dr Bacher added: "Canada's participation in the 2003 World Cup gives their cricketing authority and the International Cricket Council (ICC) a unique opportunity to exploit this fertile cricket base - and develop a national team that could aspire to official one-day international status after the 2003 World Cup."

The development came as Canada qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 1979 with a five-wicket win over Scotland in the third place playoff at the ICC Trophy qualifying tournament in Toronto.

Now, I looked at the list of funded sports organizations. And I found more than a dozen sports that would be comparable to cricket, as far as national participation, recognition by an international governing body and participation in major international competition. Sports such as, speed skating, archery, bobsledding, biathlon, judo, taekwondo, and water polo, are no more legitimate sports than cricket.

The lack of funding is a great detriment to the future of the sport in Canada. Junior and Women's programs and other development tools will have to be sacrificed, in order to send the national and junior national teams to their respective World Cups.

Our question to you is, could you please educate us as to why the Canadian Cricket Association is not recognized by Sport Canada, and why the program and athletes are not funded by Sport Canada?

We have over 25,000 cricketers in Canada curious to hear your response.

Thank you,

A: Bonjour - hi,

Thank you for your recent email. I am sure that you must enjoy your sport very much and I hope you have great pleasure practising it.

The Canadian Cricket Association have in hand all the documents necessary to submit an application to be recognize as eligible for funding by Sport Canada. This is the first step that must be taken. We are waiting for the return of the pertinent documents. If you want more details on the status of the application, I would like to suggest to you to contact the Association.

Please accept my best wishes for a great cricket season to you and all of those who play the game.

Daniel Rochon
Program Officer.