Cricket Canada decided not to host the 2012 Under-19 Cricket World Cup in Toronto because it simply did not have the money, said Ranjit Saini, president of the country's cricket governing body.
Cricket Canada needed about $2.5 million $2 million to upgrade 10 grounds and half-a-million dollars for operating expenses. "The federal government refused to offer financial assistance," Saini said. So, at its annual general meeting last month, Cricket Canada decided to pull out of the commitment. The decision was announced April 16.
"The decision to accept the invitation to host this event was taken at the 2007 AGM," Saini said. "We were advised to carry out a feasibility study. We discovered that we needed 12 grounds and they had to be ready by 2011 so that our players could play for one season. If we do not play on these grounds for one season, the International Cricket Council won't allow international matches there (but) there was no money and no time."
The feasibility study, Saini said, revealed that they needed to make "provisions for hardware such as rollers, sight screens, covers, scoreboards, building two new pavilions and upgrading Sunnybrook Park and one other facility. The goal was not only to host world-class cricket, but also to leave a lasting legacy of grounds that would enable Canada to host international cricket for years to come."
Saini added that Cricket Canada had only two grounds where world-class cricket could be played Maple Leaf and Cricket and Curling clubs and three other grounds that could be upgraded, but they needed a minimum of 12 grounds to host the World Cup.
Saini said they recently met federal Sports Minister Gary Lunn for funding. "Lunn rejected our request," he added. "Cricket is not a funding priority for the government and that's despite the fact that Canada now has 13 million people from the cricket-playing nations. We have 40,000 cricket players in Canada and cricket is being played in almost 2,000 schools all over the country."