First, I would like to congratulate Cricket Canada on introducing the online version of the “WICKETS”; this will serve as a testament to the team of editors, writers, and journalists as their sheer hard work, perseverance, determination and impressive content that has helped the magazine to gather continued success and it shall reach great heights in the years to come. The magazine offers impressive content and does a good job at highlighting the Canadian players’ profiles; it also shares Canadian Cricket news with large number of fans throughout the world.
Given our current challenges, it is critical to follow Federal Government’s guidance to address the escalating COVID-19 situation. The sports landscape has also altered significantly, from playing cricket indoors to canceling of planned activities and putting summer programs on temporary suspension.
Based on dialogue with government sports reps, we have received guidelines from the government and as Cricket Ontario, we have taken immediate steps to align and comply with such guidance. Below I have summarized steps taken by Cricket Ontario:
• Cancellation of Cricket Ontario Youth and Women HP camps programs.
• Suspension of all Summer Programs until further notice
• Refund of HP CAMP participation Fee to everyone who attended the camps to help with financial challenges
• Compensate coaches with token honorarium to help financially.
The Cricket Ontario Member Leagues have been informed by the local municipalities that cricket grounds are closed till June 30th and we look forward to safe and expedited return to normal life that includes Cricket.
While complying with all federal and provincial requirements, Cricket Ontario is actively monitoring the situation and working on options available to resume the summer programs, specially for the Youth/Women Regional Championship and a senior tournament. I am confident that member Leagues are also working on respective plans with several options based on the ground availability to make best of the remaining season.
The current situation is tough, and we may not be physically able to come together for the foreseeable future. I am pleading with everyone to stay strong as a cricket community and Play your role to keep one another safe. I like to assure everyone that Cricket Ontario's #1 priority is the safety and well-being of our membership, players, coaches, service providers and their families, friends and our communities.
I would like to re-emphasize the messages from our Prime Minister and Premier to stay indoor and stay safe so that we can all help bring COVID in control. My thoughts are with the cricket community, their families, loved ones and friends and my hope is that we all stay well and safe.
Thank you for patience and understanding,
Shah Zafar, President, Cricket Ontario