April 20, 2007

USA

Resignations, recriminations and silence

Martin Williamson

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.

RELATED LINKS

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

RSS Feeds: Martin Williamson

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by John706 on (July 18, 2009, 2:13 GMT)

Very nice site!

Posted by Arun Vittala on (June 8, 2007, 21:14 GMT)

Dainty and Company had several years to show what they can do to improve cricket. They obviously did nothing. They need to respectfully resign en masse, have an independent body appointed by ICC run it for a few months get their feet wet and understand the situation themselves. They can then make the right moves. Listening to both sides or what ever is still going to be a matter of who presented their case best and not what is actually right. I would squarely put the burden on ICC to dismantle or take over the administration on an interim basis and appoint people that they would like for a short period of time (6 months) and start with a new constitution and a good process for the elections and the rest of the activity to take place ie., the regions, the leagues, the executive body etc. I personally would have no problem with anyone running this body as long as they are accountable and everything is transparent. Both these things have been missing for a very long time.

Posted by Crickholics Anonymous on (June 1, 2007, 22:02 GMT)

The Parent body is setting a "good" example to the regional bodies. I heard that one of the associations in a northern state split resulting in dilution of standards and squabble for grounds. "As above so below". This calls for aggressive intervention by the ICC. They cannot take the "we are not wanted" attitude. Wake up ICC, banning will only aggravate the issue - get involved aggressively in the USACA. It is too big of market to take the hands off approach. Who has the guts and gumption within ICC?

Crickolics Anonymous

Posted by naresh on (May 16, 2007, 4:03 GMT)

All talk and no action. If all those that write are indeed worried about the state of the game in the USA, they should take action. Democracy does not work by shouting from the sidelines. Justice is never served by mutely watching anarchy unravel.

There are enough good people in USA who are willing to sweat it out for the sake of cricket - people who are wealthy, have the good of the game at heart and have a vision for the sport. Join them and lets all be happy. While I don't want to direct you to any one person in particular, I have a preference for folks in Northern Cali. Good luck and lets get our act together. cali cricket enthusiast

Posted by Trevor Chesterfield on (April 29, 2007, 15:58 GMT)

Let's be honest. As an historian of the game, it is amazing how the old MCC clique ignored USA cricket for more than half a century. Now Gladstone Dainty, reminds me of the type of thug who muscles in to wreck a system because it (a): doesn't suit him and (b): he wasn't going to get the funds to fatten his bank balance. During the Youth World Cup in Colombo last year, the Dainty spies were out checking over the USA side. The odour was unpalatable and we felt sorry that such a great bunch of kids were being hamstrung in their long-term progress as players to carry the game forward. Dainty was evasive when answering the CricInfo questions which was published on the CI site. Not only evasive, but lied as well if what I was told by one of the USA under19 side siad was likely to happen. How is it that the game in the USA is being ruined to the extent that the international body pulls the plug. What message does that send those honest, sincere types. Having met Dainty by accident some time ago, I found him and his cronies interested only in what they can get out of the ICC and the money that was likely to come their way. Is this the sort of legacy that people like Gladstome Dainty want to preserve? How they killed the sport in the US? They may protest, but finding them a psycophantic bunch who don't care about USA Cricket but their own little empire explains they are suffering from an inferiority complex. A pity they can't be moved behind bars, or shipped to the Bermuda Triangle so that they can disappear and let the game in the US star living again. After meeting the man, I would never trust anything he says or does. He has an ulterior motive in everything he does and a serious chip on his shoulder as well as an agenda marked Gladstone Dainty's personal ego file. History will record him as the man who murdered cricket in the US.

Posted by NCal Cricketer on (April 25, 2007, 21:46 GMT)

I can't for the life of me understand why Dainty and his cronies stick around. It can't be the glory - everything they have touched has turned to crud - are they just oblivious to their incredible lack of being to manage anything - or is it that they don't really care and are insistent on staying until removed

Posted by Steven Davies-Morris on (April 24, 2007, 5:41 GMT)

It's many years since I played organized league cricket in the states (SCCA from the mid 70s as a schoolboy on holiday from England to the mid 90s), but I do play friendly cricket occasionally, physical fitness permitting. When I was playing I hoped that US cricket would get to a decent, competitive, level -- enough to some day make a run at the world cup. That someday seems to be further away now than it was when I stopped playing every weekend that I could get a game.

Which is absurd, given the continually expanding number of players in the states, and the new clubs springing up. It should be possible to reach a standard much like Ireland has reached. Not overnight, but numbers playing the game here must eventually achieve critical mass. And if not the standard of Ireland, at the very least the standard Bermuda has reached. And that should be on the cards right now.

I think that a generally competitive level of play is very doable with the talent pool playing in the US 1st division league teams today. And something better could be just round the corner with better leadership and better organization. But the tragedy is that nobody will see it on the world stage anytime soon, with the abysmal USACA administration running things, making all the wrong moves at every turn.

From 2004, when the USA qualified for the Champions Trophy (and was deservedly thrashed to high heavens as its myriad shortcomings were brutally exposed) to the WCL division 5 tournament in 2008 -- if the USA is even allowed to participate by the ICC -- is only four years, but surely a generation's worth of embarrassment, ridicule and setback. It's a plunge over the side of the cliff that would be funny if it weren't so horrid. Nothing against the Argentinians but they're now going to play next month in the WCL division 3 tourney in Darwin...in place of the US squad. How rotten is that?

In this four year timespan US cricket should have been advancing, blooding younger players, competing against the highest level of associate team, knocking on the door with intent to play in the CWC2011. The fact that US cricket is careening off into a disgraceful freefall is the fault of one entity only -- the USACA governing body. For the good of the game in this country, they have to go. And the ICC must (a) demand they go and (b) put something effective into play in their place that will be directly answerable to the ICC.

I'd be very happy to see the ICC establish a corporation of its own in the US, and coordinate US cricket directly "hands on", until they're satisfied cricket in North America can stand on its own two feet. If not, the fact that the US national side has been demoted to the lowest rung of the associate ladder, sentenced to play in qualifying tournaments with aspiring affiliates and bottom tier associates, speaks volumes about how deep a hole this giant nation's cricket is in.

As pleased as I was to see Canada and Bermuda in the world cup. I couldn't help but think the new look, much younger, US team that showed so much promise in 2005 before the ICC alarm bells started ringing, should have been there and would have done just as well, or better, with a bit of luck. I'd really hate to think that the 2004 Champions Trophy showing was as good as it will ever be for US cricket, but until there's real change at the top of the tree, that ugly fiasco will remain US cricket's high water mark.

Posted by Observer on (April 23, 2007, 17:37 GMT)

Yes. Every single stakeholder in US cricket other than the USACA Executive would support such a move. Who or what should really represent US cricket, since (by definition) no one does so at this point? Come on, ICC. don't leave us hanging.

Posted by ajax on (April 22, 2007, 12:38 GMT)

Mr. Dainty and the USACA will not do anything. The only thing that could help is if ICC accepts the request of virtually all stakeholders in US cricket, and chooses an impartial panel to oversee the adoption of a new constitution and conduct a free and fair election of the BOD and then the Executive. Since ICC has already suspended USACA from membership, surely this would be the best way to proceed?

Comments have now been closed for this article

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.

All articles by this writer