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With the USA Cricket Association embroiled in confusion and controversy, it appears the country is again heading towards an international suspension with the ICC under increasing pressure to step in.
Elections, which should have been held in March, are due on October 15 but this now seems impossible after Gladstone Dainty, the USACA president, suspended John Aaron, the board secretary and the man who should have been coordinating the process.
Faced with growing concern at his behaviour, Dainty has in effect rendered the board redundant and run things with a small cabal. There has not been any formal meeting since April and no face-to-face meeting since November 2010.
He still has some allies but not enough to enable him to carry on without being called to account, even though some of those most vocal in their opposition to him are finding themselves replaced with Dainty-friendly faces of the past. Aaron’s removal from office, ostensibly for publicly criticising USACA, appears to be unconstitutional, according to the USACA Constitution and it is dubious Dainty even has the support of the majority of the board in any case. Dainty, it should be remembered, was instrumental in the removal of Don Lockerbie, the board’s first full-time CEO, last year. It is believed that matter is currently in the hands of lawyers.
So as it stands, there are two factions, one claiming the moral high ground and the other firmly planted behind Dainty . The last two board meetings – called for September 24 and October 1 – have simply not happened. Dainty has reverted to his tactics of old, namely refusing to communicate and making arbitrary decisions. The other group, rallying behind the ostracised Aaron, can do little but raise awareness and hope that the ICC decides enough is enough.
The short-term loser here is US cricket. There are several investors keen to pump money into developing the game in the USA, but as long as Dainty remains at the helm and the board operates behind a shroud of secrecy, it is hard to see how they can. Ironically, it was Aaron’s public disclosure of the unconstitutional actions of Dainty that irked the latter into suspending the nationally elected secretary of USACA.
The USA was suspended by the ICC twice in the last six years because of the board’s dysfunctionality. The president back then was Dainty, and as it stands he is accelerating the country towards an unprecedented third international ban.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.