Immigrants coming from the Indian subcontinent are helping popularise cricket in Canada, according to Mike Colle, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship in the Canadian province of Ontario.
"The new immigrants that are coming from Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh are further promoting the game, so now you have the strong base with the West Indians/Canadians that love cricket, being supplemented by immigrants that are coming in great numbers," Colle told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).
He said the Canadian team, with five of Caribbean origin, represented the diversity of the Canadian population, as it included people from several others cricketing nations including Pakistan, India, and England.
He said that Canada had a long history of welcoming people from all across the globe, especially from the Caribbean area, and hoped to be able to continue to facilitate this exchange of persons for business, education and sporting purposes.
The minister said that after a disappointing show on Wednesday against Kenya he expected Canada to bounce back and become a major contender in Group C of the cricket World Cup.
Colle, who is in St. Lucia to witness the performance of the Canadian team in the competition, said that while the Canadian cricketers were not highly paid they had a strong love for the game of cricket and were determined to do well.
"While they certainly did not perform anywhere close to their best in the match against Kenya on Wednesday, I think they will bounce back and give some of the Test match teams a real surprise," Colle said.
The other countries playing in the group are England and New Zealand who will do battle at the Beausejour Cricket Ground here Friday.
Colle said cricket remained the number one sport in Canada among West Indians and there were clear indications that the sport was growing from strength to strength.