USACA hit with multi-million dollar lawsuit
Although Gladstone Dainty has announced an ambitious plan for a national Twenty20 tournament in the USA starting in 2012, the USA Cricket Association has been hit with a multi-million dollar lawsuit filed by the North American Cricket League (NACL).
NACL, which describes itself as a "sports media and entertainment company dedicated to promoting cricket throughout the world, including so-called Twenty20 format cricket in the United States" claims that it has an existing deal with USACA which is in direct conflict with the board's new initiative.
A statement from NACL said that there were "nine causes of action" including breach of contract, fraud, misappropriation of proprietary business information and theft of trade secrets. It accuses USACA of embarking on a "fraudulent scheme to extract money from NACL and its investors".
NACL's case centres on an agreement it says it entered into with USACA to promote and organise an official Twenty20 league in the United States. "The parties signed an interim agreement that granted NACL an exclusive period of negotiations during which USACA was contractually bound to cease negotiations with any third parties for the same rights.
"While NACL continued to negotiate a master agreement in good faith, USACA had no intention of honouring the terms of the interim agreement and engaged in a fraudulent scheme to extract money from NACL and its investors."
The complaint further alleges that while NACL was negotiating with USACA in good faith, USACA entered into additional agreements with third parties from which USACA also accepted large cash payments for the licensing of the same commercial rights.
Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa