By Ravi Madholall
Canadian-based Trinidadian Roy Singh is set to contest for Cricket Canada president on Sunday at the Hilton Hotel in Toronto where the Annual General Meeting will be held.
I caught up with Singh during his campaign and he expressed confidence of dethroning incumbent Ramjit Saini.
According to Singh, he had already documented all his plans in an effort to lift the standard of cricket in Canada and is prepared to run the affairs of cricket in North America once elected at what is touted to be an intriguing election.
“We have got to improve our cricket generally, and I think only people with passion can make that happen,” Singh explained.
In 2014, Singh had great ideas to have a Canadian Premier League (CPL) T20 tournament but a fallout with Cricket Canada kept his dreams still to come true.
“That the problems with the administration of Cricket Canada now, I am here to get the game of T20 in this country and they could not have sanctioned it with no explanation as yet but I am willing to see cricket reach the next level in Canada,” the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CPLT20 Singh related.
Part of his plan was to construct a 35, 000-seat indoor stadium to run off the T20 tournament which would have attracted players from around the world, and so far things have progressed nicely to make that a reality in Canada.
Singh pointed-out he will continue to have some of the global T20 stars on show in Canada soon regardless of the outcome on Sunday.
“T20 is about excitement and entertainment and despite the short period of time for outdoor activities because of the weather here in Canada, we want to make use of the available time; my vision is alive and I will try my utmost to help raise Canada’s cricket,” an enthusiastic Singh mentioned.
West Indies players Dwayne Bravo, Denesh Ramdin, Kieran Powell and former Captain and veteran batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul had signed one of the most lucrative ventures in T20 cricketing history in North America by becoming owner/stakeholders of the CPLT20 which was supposed to get cracking in August 2015 but Singh could not have moved forward owing to the disagreement with Cricket Canada.
The 10 teams were as follows: Snow Owls, Hummingbirds, Condors, Predators, Hornets, Huskies, Sentinels, Bobcats, Spartans and Wolverines. Each of the 15-member squads would have consisted of players from around North America as well as superstars from around the world during the tournament.
That being said, the businessman and Computer Engineer Singh is very feverish with his preparations for Sunday’s election against the experienced Saini. Singh also ran a Gold Exploration Company (CINRO) Inc. in South America before he took seriousness into cricket.
He further stated that Canada Cricket is not that wealthy internationally owing to some poor performances but he is not blaming the cricketers for that but solely on the administration of Cricket Canada.
He is positive that Canada can reach back at the top and compete at International Cricket Council (ICC) events but prudent leadership in the hierarchy is of paramount importance, according to a buoyant Singh.
“As an administrator you have got to be progressive and persevering to help improve the general standard of the game; it is not about politics it is about making the right decisions so the players and the country will benefit ultimately,” Singh disclosed.
Canada despite playing their first competitive cricket match against USA in 1844, have not been able to get test status but had competed in ICC limited-over World Cup tournaments in 1979, 2003, 2007 and 2011 but failed to make it back in 2015 after the national team performed badly at the Qualifiers stage.
In addition to that, the team had relegated to Division five and consequently lost subsidiary from ICC. Having languished at the bottom of the Associates teams, Cricket Canada also would have lost sponsorships for the past two years.