Toronto : With the ICC annual conference set to begin in Barbados today, former vice-president of Canada Cricket Howard Petrook has accused the world governing body of short-sightedness as far as growing the sport among the Associate member countries was concerned.
Hitting out at ICC, Petrook said the world governing body was not serious about making cricket an Olympic sport, which would have helped them get more sanctions from the government.
“Time and again the ICC fails to help countries like not only Canada but Ireland, Holland and Scotland. It’s not me who says so, everybody in the associate countries will tell you that. They have Bangladesh and Zimbabwe as Full Members but they aren’t strong countries.
“A Full Member gets about 20-30 million USD a year. Give that money to Ireland or Canada and I absolutely guarantee you in five years we would be beating those smaller Test countries,” Petrook, who is the chairman of cricket at the Toronto’s iconic Cricket, Skating and Curling Club, told PTI in an interview here.
“Ireland are a good cricketing country and how does they grow from here. What’s the path for them to become a Test country? Well nobody knows! What more do they have to do?” he asked ahead of today’s ICC’s annual meeting in the West Indies, where delegates from over 50 ICC Member countries are expected to gather.
He also claimed that the ICC was not in “favour” of including cricket in Olympics.
“They (Canada Cricket) gets about 400-500,000 a year but it’ not enough, what they need is about 3 million. If they really cared about cricket, then why it is not an Olympic sport? The IOC had invited them and ICC and the BCCI did not want it.
“It’s a very big deal for Canada and the US. If it is an Olympic sport, you get a lot more government funding than a non-Olympic sport.”
There may be less than 300 archers in Canada but being an Olympic sport they still get about one and half million dollars per year.
“I would be amazed to see 300 archers all over the country but still they get one million and half! Rugby, which has now become an Olympic sport, gets about 2 million.”
“If ICC really cared about cricket, why not help it become an Olympic sport?” he asked.
In a country that has about 2.5 million South Asian population, cricket in Canada is quite popular and one of the fastest growing sports, and Petrook claimed ICC would make more money here than any other place.
“If the ICC makes cricket successful in North America there’s more money here than the rest. There’s more TV dollars, more seats in the stadiums. So make the party bigger and you will have more choices, more TV revenues.”
“Ireland are a good cricketing country and how does they grow from here. What’s the path for them to become a Test country? Well nobody knows! What more do they have to do?”
-Vice-president of Canada Cricket