USA April 20, 2007

Resignations, recriminations and silence

It is almost two months since the USA Cricket Association was suspended by the ICC and, as is so often the case in the USA, no information has been made available to the public.

It is almost two months since the USA Cricket Association was suspended by the ICC and, as is so often the case in the USA, no information has been made available to the public.

The association's website, the only source of official news, has not been updated in more than two months and makes no mention of the ICC's decision. Cricinfo has asked senior USACA officials to comment but none have replied to such requests.

So far little seems to have moved. The USACA apperas to have done nothing on moving ahead with the ratifying of the constitution - it has to name an independent audit group that is acceptable to all stakeholders, and with the authority to have its rulings accepted by all participants in the ratification and subsequent election process.

This independent audit group is to be approved by the West Indies Cricket Board, who the ICC have asked to oversee developments in the US. So far, no such group has been proposed, let alone accepted. Opponents of the association say it appears inclined to let the matter ride for as long as it can get away with it.

Two of the executive board have resigned. Veman Reddy, co-chairman of the USACA Council of Presidents, and Arjunan Ethirveerasingam from the Southern California region. One other regional director is believed to be about to follow.

Ethirveerasingam sent a blunt email when he quit, outlining his reasons. He blamed the executive's "complete lack of communication, accountability and transparency in all aspect of its governance, its failure to meet the deadlines set by the ICC, and agreed to by USACA, for the adoption of the new USACA constitution and the holding of elections despite the fact that these deadlines were extended by the ICC, and the unconstitutional manner in which the new constitution was adopted, especially the lack of adequate opportunity for member clubs and leagues to consider and have input into the constitution."

He concluded: "I no longer wish to be associated with such an inept, mismanaged, incompetent, unaccountable, secretive organization which has brought cricket in the USA to the lowest levels ever. My recommendation to cricketers in the USA and to the ICC is to start at the beginning; to develop a new organization that rises from the grass roots."

Gladstone Dainty, the USACA president, and his close associates appear to have adopted their well-used technique of saying nothing and doing little more. That might help them weather the storm, but it is hardly likely to mollify opponents or unite all factions.

It is also unclear where the current shambles leaves the relationship between the USACA and Centrex, the marketing company, which was signed last year and was supposed to herald a new start for the game in the country. There have to be questions whether the deal is even valid, given the questionable status of the USACA, and the company now appears to be staying on the sidelines until the dust has settled.

Meanwhile, a number of stakeholders inside the USA have expressed unease that the ICC has charged the WICB with overseeing progress. The West Indies' board is embroiling in ongoing rows itself, and has run up debts of tens of millions of dollars. Ken Gordon, the WICB's president, is under fire at home after his side's dismal World Cup performance.

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