Last week, the International Cricket Council released the much-anticipated Woolf Report. The report, which served as an independent review of the ICC governance system made many recommendations, which could serve to radically change the organization of the ICC.
Cricket Canada remains cautiously optimistic that some of the recommendations in the report if implemented could pave the way for an exciting new time for world cricket. Cricket Canada president congratulated the ICC on taking such a brave step in undertaking the governance study. “Firstly the ICC should be congratulated for undertaking such a bold initiative. Putting oneself under the magnifying glass is not an easy thing and we will be interested to see the results of the April meeting”
Among the recommendations that Saini highlighted as allowing Associate Cricket nations like Canada to move forward were the admission of two full members as early as 2013 and the redistribution of funds within the ICC family.
Key items in the report such as distribution of funds based on need basis, granting of full membership for high performance associates with immediate entries, removing test status as a requirement to become a full member and opening the FTP to include more countries are all initiatives that should they be adopted would serve to elevate the profile of Associate nations like Canada.
"In our particular case being a cold weather country, we are forced to undertake major overeseas tours for preparations towards any major qualifiers, like the upcoming T20 CWCQ. In the process much of our funding dissappears in the cost of travel and acoomodation for our team. we would expect that a need basis syetm will likely deal with this issue and create an equal competitive environment ”
“We have kept our eye on full membership as an organization for some time now and are working towards or have achieved many of the requirements already. While there is still much to do, we are hopeful that with a clear and defined path forward we will be able to open more avenues of funding currently not available to us due to lack of exposure to the highest level or ICC policy that closes off avenues of government funding. Participation in multi sport activities such as the Summer Olympics, Commonwealth Games and Pan Am Games are key requirements for increased government funding."
The ICC's current system of event qualification is a major contributing factor to Canada's athlete's not being eligible for any type of Athlete's assistance available in other sports.
"As it stands now, much of our ICC funding is targeted towards the Senior Men’s program (this to ensure continued high funding levels) and as such we are unable to invest towards infrastructure development, youth and women’s programs, or any grassroots development in the regions. This is a vicious cycle and if we fail to perform and maintain our high performance associate status, the funding levels will drop iff. Opening up funding opportunities by way of direct funding or an ability to commercialize, our matches by way of the FTP would create resources for us that will develop our player pathways. The ability to attract more dollars into associate nations, especially those with huge commercial potential like Canada, is one of the key elements to this plan.”
The Woolf report will be tabled at the next ICC Board meeting in April.