Q&A with Federal Minister of Sport, Paul Devilliers

I present to you a letter from the Secretary of State (Amateur Sport), Paul Devilliers that was procured simply by email request (presented first). The reasons behind the CCA not applying for the necessary funding still remains a mystery, read on...

Colin Mohammed
Honourable Minister and Secretary:

I emigrated to Canada over 12 years ago with a firm cultural background in Cricket. I subsequently found a club to join, in Mississauga, Ontario. They were instrumental in helping me to attend the Ontario Summer Games in 1992 where I was part of the Hamilton and District U-19 team, achieving a Bronze Medal. In addition, I was invited to the Governor General's Cricket grounds in 1993. I was very, very impressed with the quality of grounds available and facilities open for us to play on.

However, I have noticed a massive decline in the way the sport is administered. I was proud to be part of the team that produced a Canadian National player that qualified for the World Cup of Cricket in South Africa in 2003. I can see no professional development system in place, no National grassroots programme or any infrastructure for school based competition. Without that background there is simply no future for Canada on the global stage.

Canada is the only country lacking in development. The USA is hosting a Global u-19/13 competition in Houston and Florida respectively and are well on their way to compete with the best. Cricket is already the 2nd highest website attraction in North America, second only to Professional Baseball. Globally the game has a viewership of 1.2 billion and is played in every country except the polar regions.

Our country already has grounds available but they are stagnant. I would like to know why the National governing body, the Canadian Cricket Association has done precious little to propagate the game. How come we have facilities to develop professional Cricketers but it is still considered "immigrant" sport.

We are at a threshold unknown to Canada. Cricket is tied to the cultures of the countries represented in the World Cup, and receive Government support via funding, National Academies and formal theoretical development at Universities. We are facing worldwide embarrassment aside from the massive amount of income generated from a professional infrastructure. Sir and madam, to put it lightly, we are going to be the laughing stock of the world in 2003.

I cannot sit idly by and watch this comedy unfold. We need your help.

Kind Regards,
Colin Mohammed


Office of the Secretary of State
(Amateur Sport) and
Deputy Leader of the Government
in the House of Commons
Cabinet du secretaire d'Etat
(Sport amateur) et
leader adjoint du gouvemement
a la Chambre des communes
Ottawa, Canada K1A 0M5

Dear Mr. Mohammed:

On behalf of the Honourable Paul De Villers. Secretary of State (Amateur Sport) and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, thank you for your correspondence of May 3, 2002, regarding funding for the sport of cricket in Canada. Your correspondence to the Honourable Sheila Copps, Minister of Canadian Heritage, on this subject has also been brought to the attention of Mr. DeVillers.

The Secretary of State appreciates your advising him of your views on this matter. The Department of Canadian Heritage, through Sport Canada, provides support to recognized national sport and multi-sport organizations that assist high-performance amateur athletes who compete at the national and intentional levels. Assistance is provided to national sport organizations (NSOs), which are eligible for financial assistance within the Sport Funding and Accountability Framework (SFAF) or the Funding and Accountability Framework for Athletes with a Disability, to fund programs for national teams, coaching development. national championships and various other nationally based initiatives.

In August 2001. the National Cricket Team qualified for the 2002 World Cricket Championships while meeting the top 16 international ranking criteria required by Sport Canada to be eligible for SFAF funding. Subsequently, the Canadian Cricket Association (CCA) inquired about NSO support from Sport Canada and was provided with documentation and information about Sport Canada's NSO funding process. It should be noted that all NSOs are required to submit SFAF forms to be considered for funding and, assuming that they are successful, complete the quadrennial assessment questionnaire. The CCA has not, however, submitted the SFAF eligibility or assessment documents that are required to qualify for support. I suggest, therefore, that you contact Dr. Geoff Edwards, President of the CCA, to share your concerns on the development of cricket in Canada. Dr. Edwards can be reached at the address provided in the enclosure.

I regret that my reply could not be more favourable. Please accept our best wishes.

Yours sincerely,
Carla D. Qualtrough

Special Advisor


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