December 23, 2010

USA

USACA hit with multi-million dollar lawsuit

Martin Williamson

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.

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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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