USA March 6, 2008

Varadarajan poses a serious challenge

The USACA elections take place on March 29, and Gladtone Dainty and his incumbents face a tough battle against an organised group headed by Ram Varadarajan.

The USACA elections take place on March 29, and Gladtone Dainty and his incumbents face a tough battle against an organised group headed by Ram Varadarajan.

While Dainty has been so low key as to be invisible - much the same could be said of USACA under his leadership - Varadarajan, who was born in India and emigrated to the USA in 1982, has been on a media offensive as well as launching a slick website outlining his vision.

"The response to the announcement of our team and the ideas and energy we bring has been fantastic," Varadarajan said. "I am getting e-mails and calls from interested people all around the world telling me that US cricket needs new management and initiatives to take it to the next level. There is widespread support for our team and people are asking how they can help make change happen. We appreciate and are humbled by the outpouring of support.

"It pains me that USACA has not been able to bring corporate commitment to cricket, the world's second most popular sport. The last few years have seen a significant increase in the monies spent globally on cricket by corporate sponsors and commercial organisers. The new USACA will find a symbiotic way to match the support of corporate sponsors and professional cricket organizations with the grass roots development needs in America. My team and I are well suited for this task and are committed to its success."

John Aaron, who is standing for the post of USACA secretary, targets the readmission of the USA to the international fold as a priority. "For too long now our children and adult players have been unable to play and develop their cricket in the international arena due to the ICC's suspension of the current administration. It is critically important for our team to be elected. We have harnessed the energy and chemistry needed to affect change in US cricket. We will strive to allow our players the opportunity to represent their country against the best in the world, and also create opportunities for the flow of capital needed to develop the sport in the very large US market."

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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