February 11, 2007

USA

Dissenters urge 'no' vote for new constitution

Martin Williamson

A row which has been brewing behind the scenes over the USA Cricket Association's proposed new constitution has spilled over into the public domain with the publication of an open letter from two regional directors slamming the changes.

Arjunan Ethirveerasingam, a regional director of the South West, and Laks Sampath of the North West, have written to the USACA executive all all board members in which they express "dismay" at the draft constitution and recommend that clubs and stakeholder vote against it.

The USACA had already come under fire for the short time it had given regions to consult stakeholders, and Cricinfo has been made aware of deep dissatisfaction among senior representatives with the way the entire process has been handled.

The letter points out several flaws with the way the planned changes have been handled, pointing out that they breach the existing constitution. The main complaints stems from the way that board of directors are to be appointed, effectively unelected for a three-year term.

"The USACA is administered by an executive committee who are a part of the board who nominate a panel to select the next executives. The nominating panel (the current board of directors) select the individuals who, in their "expert opinion", are qualified to be executives and eliminate the rest. The panel then asks the board to do a back ground check on the final list and the names are forwarded to the regions to "select" (not "elect").

"It is incomprehensible in a democratic society such as ours that a panel can eliminate everyone except the current executives or the five members that they want on the executive body. "What chance does a serious challenger have to break into the very private circle appointed by the current executives? Agreed, the regional administration votes for the executives, the first step is to get on the ballot and that very avenue is insurmountable."

The existing board, once famously described by the ICC as "dysfunctional", has been lambasted in the last couple of years for being almost unaccountable and incommunicado. The most recent elections were also shrouded in controversy, and it seems that the new constitution, which must be in place by March 1 to meet a deadline imposed by the ICC, will only add to the disharmony.

Sampath and Ethirveerasingam seem to drive a coach and horses through many areas of the constitution and they make a compelling case for stakeholders to refuse to approve it. Even if it is eventually passed, what is clear is that it needs more time to be examined. If it is passed, the letter points out that it is drafted in such a way that it is unlikely ever to be amended.

"This constitution will not change into eternity. Yes mathematically it can, logistically with the country as large as United States it is just impossible. Never in the history of USACA have there been 400+ people present at a general meeting."

The conclusion is unequivocal. "The proposed constitution is not a constitution for the membership but is a constitution for the incumbents," they wrote. "There is no forum for the stakeholders to voice their concern or to even seek clarification.

"We urge you to withdraw this constitution and call a meeting of the general body to work on a constitution that is both acceptable to the membership and will also provide a strong foundation for the future of cricket in USA. In the meanwhile, we will request any member clubs wanting to vote send in their "No" ballots and to vote via email so that there will be proof of deliver of the ballot."

Cricinfo has been contacted by several other senior regional representatives endorsing these views and it is now possible that what initially looked to be a simple rubber-stamping process could present a major headache for the USACA incumbents.

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Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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Posted by rahim sunesara on (December 17, 2007, 5:04 GMT)

I like my son play cricket.He is 6 year old and he is interest to play and I live in USA Houston-TX. So please give me some info for USA Cricket Association so I can contact them.And I can have a coach for him.Please reply me soon. Thank you.

Posted by Amjad Khan on (February 22, 2007, 16:01 GMT)

Great to see your comments Chris :-) It's been a long time since I saw you loop those left arm spinners and bamboozle the bay area batsmen with the late drift - I must say, you are the best left arm spinner I have seen in the US. You consistently bowled to a 6-3 field and still managed to choke the runs (well, you were lucky that I was playing on your side ;-)....boy do I miss those days. Anyways, back at the ranch (yes, US Cricket is a ranch of sorts, run by a bunch of trigger happy cow boys, led by the Messrs Dainty and Chik). As you rightly pointed out, US Cricket has gone down from an administration standpoint, but at the same time quality of the game has taken a steep dive down as well. I remember in the early 1990's, some of the club games in New York would be close to first class standards. Nowadays, even the US National team doesn't come close to showing the same quality. There is a lot of cricket, but no quality. One of the reasons for too much cricket is the spurious clubs that have mushroomed due to the cheap and easy registration that Masood Chik has cunningly taken full advantage of. His and Dainty's goal is not to promote the game in the US, but to garner votes so that they can stay in power. It reminds me of Saddam's election a few years ago in which he got 99% of the votes - of course, Dainty will get a majority of the votes from the board as well as long as he let's these $30 clubs vote for guys like Masood as the Directors. In turn Masood and the other similarly elected directors will ensure that Dainty remains in power. It is like you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours……. I strongly urge the ICC to intervene and finally help US Cricket get on the right track. This new proposed constitution is doing nothing; I repeat nothing, to promote the game in the US. All it is doing is providing a means for Dainty and his cohorts to stay in power. I request every club to vote against it.

- Amjad Khan New York.

Posted by Chris English on (February 20, 2007, 21:20 GMT)

This is so sad...the USACA has been dysfunctional to my knowledge since the late seventies; we would have hoped that in thirty years we would have found a way to build a vibrant and flourishing organization promoting grass roots cricket especially within the youth of America. It seems not. The USA has the demographics to be an effective cricketing nation at the associate level at least, given a solid organization and a passion for promoting the game at the youth level. There is a need for leadership which is not steeped in self-aggrandizement of what ever ilk it may be but bathed in a passion for cricket and the promotion of youth. Like Bobbie I have moved on and now live in the Caribbean. I have been working the past year on our group staging of the world cup in which we will host two associate members - Scotland and The Netherlands. Working with the administrators of those countries has been a delight; particularly seeing their passion for the promotion and success of their respective nationals and national teams. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that they are Scots and Nederlanders rather than aging expatriates vainly trying to hold on to the last of the summer wine? Stand up America and get it done! Chris English St Kitts

Posted by John Wainwright on (February 20, 2007, 0:55 GMT)

Over a period of time, as well as on several previous forums, including this one, it has been suggested by various people, which have hoped that the ICC would and could take control of USA Cricket. I for one, hope at this stage, this does not happen, I also hope this is not offensive to the majority of USA Cricket followers.

There are several reasons for my thinking. The first is, that USA Cricket has been around long enough and I believe that there are enough independent minded Cricket people without agendas out there who could get around a table to discuss what the problems are inside the USA Cricket world, and then progress to a strategic development plan for all levels of USA Cricket. {I certainly do not mean that the majority of the present incumbent USACA office holders as we have seen their intentions, lack of direction, neglect and failures}. What my experience tells me is that the situation of the development of Cricket in the USA is like no other developing or established Cricket conditions in the world, and that those who have a more accurate understanding of the Cricket environment in the USA, are more likely to come up with a sustainable plan. Though outside help should not be ignored, perhaps, should be sought from the right people.

Secondly and probably of more importance, is that we the USA Cricket players, officials, etc., have to face not only our neglect in the past, but our responsibilities for the future. One cannot just throw ones hands up hoping that we can be bailed out by someone else, because even if the fairy Godmother does appear, by not facing up to the situation and taking action from within, you can guarantee that failure will be certain.

There is also the point that the ICC is responsible to all its stakeholders, that is, those other Cricket playing countries that are members of the ICC. Those members vote on programs and plans that are put foreword, at this point, those members will certainly not be likely to indorse funding for a hotch- potch situation such as USA Cricket. Their approval is required. They have better things to do with the monies that help their individual countries in their own development plans.

Lastly, the bottom line is, that in the USA enervation, hard work, is rewarded and the potentials are endless. But we have to accept the responsibility for the past and move forward in a new and positive direction.

Please do not hide under pseudo names, as it serves no benefit to you or your argument.

John Wainwright.

Posted by TO PROGRESS on (February 19, 2007, 23:01 GMT)

Dear Mr. Progress, It is quite clear which side of the fence you are dancing on. You want beef go to Wendy's. The current group cannot be given another 3 years to work things out. The USACA leader shave not presented a starting point. It is the ending point that you are looking at. You say build from the regions. The current constitution is breaking up the 2 most powerful regions : NY Region & the California Region. The strong are being ousted and the weak are being built upon.

You say remove the directors. YOU CANNOT. They all will be back in power, doing the same old crap. FORMULA: You want formula. This is not NASCAR where you find Formula 1 drivers. Get rid of the old for good. They should be wiped out fron the face of USACA Cricket. They should not even come to any decision making.

But you know what, It is of no avail, as the old might dollar kicks in and they will be back in power. USA Cricket is doomed.

Posted by Progress on (February 19, 2007, 17:01 GMT)

Firozshah, you don't get it! You are supporting people who become very destructive when they do not get their way. Like I said, they need to show us something with some meat, and they have not. I do not believe they can! To dissent is one thing, but not to offer an alternate plan is worse. The USACA leaders have presented a starting point. It's not perfect, but we can work together to make it better. I also see that the youth programs are at the core of the Constitution. Can you say that for most cricketing nations? Come on, let's adopt this thing and build from within our own regions so we can kick the weak or self-serving directors out. That's where we start from. Last time I noticed, Mr. Dainty is not going away, so why not remove some of the directors who are inept? I believe that he will go away then. That' the formula to get rid of him!

Posted by arjunan ethirveerasingam on (February 19, 2007, 15:17 GMT)

Dear Mr. "Progress", We/I have submitted many ideas, requests, comments, questions, etc for inclusion or clarification of the proposed constitution and for the future of cricket in the USA.

Unfortunately, all have these have gone unanswered by the executive of USACA.

I have attempted to work with the Executive, but to no avail... during the current executive's reign US cricket and our standing in the international community has plunged.

This is due to the lack of accountability and transparancy of the current administration.

I do not want power and will be resigning in the near future whatever the outcome of the illegal vote on the constitution. But in the interim i will speak out on any injustices i see. As Edmund Burke stated, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"

Once again i would request that those that attack us please give a point by point refutation of the letter and the issues that we brought up. If you can't do so it speaks volumes about what is wrong with US cricket and the motivation of your attacks on me.

thank you, arjunan ethirveerasingam USACA Direction SWR

Posted by Progress on (February 19, 2007, 13:03 GMT)

Again! Laks, Arjunan, and their supporters have not presented a Single idea that shows that they can do better. Wake up guys, you seem to have a "mob mentality", the way you are being led by these guys. I get it, they want to take power and then come up with a plan. Come on Laks and Arjunan, where's the beef?

Posted by Sohrab on (February 19, 2007, 8:45 GMT)

Cricket cannot stand in USA under current circumstances. Cricket is not for USA if it were then why do they play Baseball. Quit trying...

Posted by Clarification of the constitution on (February 18, 2007, 14:12 GMT)

The so called ARBITRATOR, has clarified the glaring errors that everyone has pointed out. He claims that there is nothing wrong with the ratification. First of all you are an ARBITRATOR, that means you cannot take sides and sway the general public. =You are supposed to be neutral in this whole issue. We will and can decide what is good for us and what is not. Looks like someone paid you off pretty heftily to say this. The Cricket ball is RED and not GREEN like the color of the money that you got! My 2 CENTS. ARBITRATOR or TRAITOR - HOWZAT!!!!!! you make the call. The call is you are OUT.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Martin Williamson
Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.

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