ICC January 14, 2009

ICC big guns head to New York

ICC president Haroon Lorgat and special advisor IS Bindra will meet with USA Cricket Association officials in New York later this month.

ICC president Haroon Lorgat and special advisor IS Bindra will meet with USA Cricket Association officials in New York later this month.

The visit is the first by any senior ICC official since the board returned from its second suspension following elections last March. The USACA president, Gladstone Dainty, was re-elected despite being seen by many as the major block to progress within the country, and he has continued to court controversy with rumours growing that the USA could even be suspended again after months of inaction.

"Given the huge potential, we don't want to lose the market in the USA," Bindra told the Kolkata-based Telegraph, but he made quite clear that did allow Dainty to carry on regardless. "At the same time, we in the ICC need to be clear about the direction the USACA is taking, that's why this review.

"Many in the USA have an emotional attachment to cricket and that needs to be harnessed. Sadly, there's been in-fighting from the early 1990s. Now, apparently, everybody is getting together and that's a good sign. The USACA can't afford to have more factionalism."

But the disharmony remains, and privately ICC officials are believed to be angry that after the fresh elections have been followed by months of inactivity. It took until November for the executive to hold its first meeting, and the post of CEO, which should have been done and dusted by the year end, has only just been advertised.

Critics of USACA hope that the real reason behind Bindra and Lorgat's visit is to fire a final warning blast across Dainty's bows. Shape up, or this time you will be kicked into touch for good.

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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