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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 14 January, 2003, 10:54 GMT
The impossible job
By Saj Chowdhury
BBC Sport Online

Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible
Even Tom Cruise would have trouble handling this assignment
In footballing circles, they say to be coach of England is the impossible job.

Life is certainly made difficult if good results are in short supply.

On the other hand, regular wins are often met with big slaps on the back from all concerned, most importantly the fickle media.

Now try being the head of Canada's Cricket Association.

Little money from government and sponsorship, scant coverage in the press and ignorance among the public have made Dr Geoff Edwards task extremely difficult.

Edwards, who originally hails from St Vincent and Grenadines, began his cricket affair with Canada in 1968.

"I gave away my equipment before I came to study at university in Canada. But once I arrived I realised how popular the game was with students, so I had to buy some new stuff," he said.

"I then joined the Hamilton and District league for a number of years, before I was approached by members of that executive to stand as chairman.

It's been a major problem trying to get the players ready
Dr Geoff Edwards
"So I took that role and stayed there for 12 years."

It was not long before Edwards moved up the ladder.

He soon became chairman of selectors for the national team before he quit the post to become president.

At times it has been a thankless task for Edwards, with little or no funding coming from the government and with sponsorship also very difficult to come by.

The CCA president believes that Canada would have had a better standing in international cricket if they were blessed with better resources.

"The reason we haven't qualified for the World Cup more often has been because of lack of funding, and inadequate training and coaching," he added.

"Another thing is pretty well all of the players who play in Canada are amateurs.

"It's tough to be holding down a full-time job and competing against semi-professional and professional athletes."

"To add to our problems, we are going into this World Cup during our winter, so it's been a major problem trying to get the players fit and ready for the tournament."

It's not all doom and gloom though for Canadian cricket.

There are 12,000 players signed up to the CCA and hundreds more who play for teams and leagues outside the Association.

There will always be hardcore support for cricket in Canada, but what Edwards would like to see is the media promoting it to people who are not so well in-tune with the sport.

"There is some ignorance as far as knowledge of cricket is concerned," Edwards added.

"We don't see enough professional cricket on TV. You can get it only get it on specialist satellite or cable channels, unless of course you have a tour by the MCC or West Indies A.

"The World Cup should elevate the status. But I don't think we've made the inroads we'd liked to have had. A major sponsor coming in to help the sport would be a great boost."




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