March 13, 2008

USA

A time for 'openness and democracy'

Martin Williamson





© Cricinfo
Martin Williamson chats with Ram Varadarajan, a man who has emerged from the shadows to offer a credible challenge to Gladstone Dainty in the race to become the new president of the USA Cricket Association.

Until last month, little was known about Varadarajan, but his announcement that he was ready to take on Dainty was supported by a PR offensive as slick as Dainty's was non existent.

"I had a sense of disappointment that there were not many ideas coming from USACA and I realised something had to be done to bring some energy and liveliness to the organisation."

One thing that Varadarajan's group is aware of is the perception that USACA is run in one corner of the country and is "irrelevant to the leagues and stakeholders". As a result, the candidates allied to him are from across the country and, crucially, people picked for their strengths and not because they are friends of his. "I wanted people with skills from across the USA.

"I believe that USACA is public service, and the president needs to believe he is the servant of the leagues and not its master. Currently USACA is operating as if it is the master and I want to change that. It needs to be more relevant."

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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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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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