As Joe Pantalone continues meeting with members of Toronto’s diverse cricket community, he is receiving enthusiastic encouragement and support for his plans to make Toronto a global destination for this international game.
Since meeting with cricket players and representatives of the Toronto and District Cricket Association, the Canadian Commonwealth Cricket Association of Toronto, and the GTA Cricket Council last week Thursday, and celebrating with community members at the Mayor’s Cricket Tournament on Saturday, he is even more convinced than before that Toronto’s sports infrastructure must change and grow to match it’s changing, growing sports community.
“Cricket is well-loved across the globe,” said Pantalone, “and so it is also cherished by many of Toronto’s vibrant communities. Yet the city’s infrastructure offers no facilities equal to the city’s love of the game. Under Mayor Joe Pantalone, that will change.”
On Thursday, Pantalone announced to much applause his vision of doing for cricket what he has already done for soccer with BMO Field: He will take the lead in bringing together all levels of government, community and the private sector to create a world-class cricket pitch and related facilities.
“It’s a proven approach,” says Pantalone. “As Chair of Exhibition Place, I used government resources to gather private investment for public gain. As mayor I will do the same again, with economic and cultural benefit to the city, and a quality-of-life benefit for everyone.”
“The last international cricket game played in Canada was in the 1840s,” said Pantalone. “And Canada won. When Toronto brings the game back to Canada, we’ll win again – culturally and economically.”