Cricket Canada Sanction Roadblocking CPLT20 League Launch!

CPLT20 President and CEO Roy Singh is a very frustrated man. So much so in fact that it’s somewhat surprising that he still has hair left on his head and hasn’t as yet torn it all out in frustration. The source of Singh’s justifiable frustration is none other than Cricket Canada, the sport’s national governing body and in particular its current President Ranjit Saini.

Singh’s ongoing frustration stems from the fact that his very best efforts to introduce a much needed T20 annual League to Canada’s cricketing environment have been continuously roadblocked by Cricket Canada’s refusal to provide the required sanctions. According to cricket’s global administrative organization, the International Cricket Council (ICC), any tournaments staged within a member country must be in receipt of sanction approval by that country’s governing body.
Under this regulation any and all tournaments held in Canada can therefore only be held with the blessing of Cricket Canada’s sanction as the country’s governing body. For the better part of the past three years Singh has been attempting to obtain Cricket Canada’s sanctioning approval for his proposed Canadian Premier LeagueT20 annual tournament, without any progress whatsoever. This despite that fact that Singh himself has so far personally invested well in excess of $500,000 towards the proposed CPLT20 League’s development.

Indeed Singh’s contention is that CPLT20 has been constantly lied to and repeatedly ignored by Cricket Canada regarding their sanction request. He now also firmly also believes that Cricket Canada President Ranjit Saini’s demonstrated reluctance to even entertain discussions on the possibilities for CPLT20, are being guided by his own personal interests and agendas.

According to Singh, Cricket Canada had this past January issued a Saini signed Press Release that promised to convene a meeting for all of the country’s T20 stakeholders. To date the meeting has yet to be held and there has been absolutely no further indication from Saini or anyone else at Cricket Canada as to its status.

As has been made evident by the establishment of mega successful T20 Leagues in India, Australia, Bangladesh, the Caribbean and most recently Pakistan, T20 Cricket has become big business and a source of huge potential revenues for all involved. The annual Caribbean Premier League now generates millions of dollars in revenue for the economies for the regional territories which host its matches.

So attractive has T20 cricket become that even Canada’s much troubled cross the border North American sister governing body, the United States Cricket Association (USACA) has recently thrown its hat into the ring. Despite the fact that it is still under ICC suspension for highly questionable administrative practices, the USACA boldly announced just last September that it has granted the exclusive licensing rights for a Franchised T20 Professional Cricket League to Pennsylvania-based sports development company Global Sports Ventures LLC. A decision it claimed would bring and professionalize cricket as the world’s second most popular sport to the United States, the world’s largest sports economy!

According to Jignesh (Jay) Pandya, the Indian born President and CEO of Global Sports Ventures, LLC, (GSV) the $70 million deal between the USACA and his company will professionalize the game of Cricket in the U.S., providing American athletes the opportunity for a professional career in Cricket.

Pandya further indicated that GSV has been actively working with legislators to develop 26,000+/- seat stadiums in cities across the US including New York, New Jersey, WashingtonDC, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Illinois and California. The cricket-centric, multi-purpose entertainment stadiums and lifestyle centers will create approximately 17,800 new jobs (1,500 construction and 725 permanent jobs per location) with opportunities in medical and rehab services; merchandising and procurement; media and broadcasting; tourism development; security; logistics and transportation; and, player, coaches and support staff. Each of these locations will cost an estimated $300 million and will generate approximately $8 billion in direct and indirect salaries over the next 20 years.

The exciting cross border developments in the US would only have served to further frustrate Singh whose own plans also include the construction of a state of the art stadium for Canada, the actual land for which has since been leased. Singh justifiably contends that instead of functioning as roadblocks to his further progress, Saini and his Cricket Canada counterparts would be of much better service to Canadian cricket if they instead embraced, supported and facilitated the achievement of his T20 League establishment and stadium construction objectives. The wonderful example the USACA has set with its GSV deal can serve as a template on how to do so.

Singh plans, for both the League as well as the stadium, may however now have to wait even longer to get pass their respective Cricket Canada roadblocks as the Association now seems to have gotten itself embroiled in further legal issues. According to an official March 20 Release on the website the Sports Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC) has found favor with the allegations of wrongdoings surrounding the election of Cricket Canada’s Board of Directors last May. As such the SDRCC has ordered that new elections to be held no later than June of this year.

Small wonder that Saini hasn’t been responding to Singh or anyone else of late. He must now be too busy trying to figure how to remain President come this June.