Indian-origin Cricket Canada boss `retires’ in face of no-trust motion (Lead)

May 29th, 2009 - 4:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, May 29 (IANS) Indian-origin Cricket Canada president Banwarilal (Ben) Sennik Thursday announced his retirement from the body faced with a vote of no-confidence by his directors.
Sennik, who sacked fellow Indian Atul Ahuja as CEO of Cricket Canada last January as cricket gains prominence in this North American country, has been facing a virtual revolt from the majority of the Indian-dominated board of directors.

After the dismissal of the CEO, a majority of the nine directors had sent him a letter in March, asking him to call ‘a special general meeting’ to face a no-confidence motion against him. But the president reportedly managed to stall the meeting, forcing the directors to again send him a letter May 25, demanding an immediate meeting to face the no-confidence motion.

With a majority of the directors arraigned against him, Sennik had few options, sources in Cricket Canada told IANS. Facing an imminent ouster, he announced he would step down next month.

In a letter to Cricket Canada, Sennik has said that he is stepping down as president from June 30 “in the best interests” of Canadian cricket.

His opponents accuse him of playing politics with Canadian cricket, which has been accorded ‘a priority status’ by the International Cricket Council. Though the outgoing president claims to have revived the sport and secured a berth for Canada in the 2007 and 2011 World Cups, his opponents say he followed divisive policies by shunting out talented players and doing nothing to revamp selection policies.

They say Sennik did nothing to develop fresh talent as old players (in their late 30s) continue to represent Canada.

The sacking of Indian-born CEO Atul Ahuja earlier this year also angered many office bearers and players.

Cricket in Canada got a big boost last year when the federal government accorded it the status of the country’s national sport. Curiously, cricket was Canada’s national sport until 1870. It was replaced by ice hockey.

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