The Ontario government has given a million dollars to the Canadian Cricket Association now that Canada has qualified for the 2007 World Cup, to be held in the West Indies in March 2007.
At a fund-raising dinner to celebrate Canada's qualification for the World Cup, sponsored by St. Lucia's Department of Tourism, at Sagan Banquet Hall on October 5, Ontario Minister for Citizenship Mike Colle paid tribute to "St Lucia, Canada and our wonderful Canadian cricket team" and called the million-dollar donation an "investment in multi-culturalism".
He made the announcement in front of 500-plus guests at the banquet hall.
There are more people now playing cricket in Toronto than one can imagine, as more and more immigrants are coming from cricket-playing nations of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Caribbean countries, said Colle.
He suggested that Ontarians/Canadians should travel to St Lucia in March to witness the Canadian team playing in the World Cup.
With Indian Consul-General Satish Mehta and his Pakistani counterpart Ghalib Iqbal present in the hall, Colle said, "50,000 people from India would go to the Caribbean islands to watch the World Cup."
On a second thought he said there will be many people from Pakistan also who are likely to go for the tournament.
Indo-Canadian businessman Ben Sennik, who is president of the CCA, explained how in 2003 Canada qualified for the World Cup, and it happened in South Africa.
It happened through Canada's "resounding victory over Bangladesh by 60 runs in Durban".
The second was a personal highlight when John Davison smashed the West Indian bowling for the fastest ever World Cup century -- 67 balls, with his total of 111 containing eight fours and six sixes.