Six board members aim to 'set the record straight' April 29, 2005

Directors write letter in defence of Dainty

Cricinfo staff

Six members of the board of directors of the USA Cricket Association (USACA) have sent a letter to all member clubs, defending the actions of their embattled president, Gladstone Dainty. Their action follows widespread criticism of Dainty, which was seemingly backed up yesterday when the ICC suspended funding and issued a hard-hitting plea for the rival factions to settle their differences.

The letter is signed by five regional representatives - Curtis Clarke, Shelton Glasgow, Nasir Javed, Hubert Carlyle Miller and Akhtar Masood Syed - and by Michael Dupigny, the chairman of the USACA's Council of League Presidents. They claim that "there is a great deal of rumor and innuendo surrounding this [recent board] election, which is being spread by certain individuals who do not have the best interests of the USACA in mind". They continue: "as members of the Board of Directors, we believe it is time to set the record straight and to communicate the truth to you, the member clubs of the USACA."

And the board members add that "certain dissidents [have] made repeated attempts to undercut the authority of the existing board of directors", and that, in connection with the recent disputed elections, "certain individuals have taken it upon themselves to undermine the Board by claiming that the election was invalid and that the President of the USACA, Gladstone Dainty, controlled the election process by invalidating certain candidates."

The letter stresses: "The election process was controlled by duly authorised action of the board of directors, not President Dainty. Three candidates were invalidated by the board of directors because they failed to comply with certain eligibility requirements. These eligibility requirements were established by duly authorised action of the board of directors and were established to preserve the integrity of the USACA and its governing body."

The board then turned their guns on their enemies, saying they authorised the current lawsuit "because the suspended Secretary of the USACA, Syed 'Bobby' Refaie, was acting (and continues to act) contrary to the express desires and mandates of the board. Refaie was suspended after he willfully disregarded the Board's duly authorised action establishing that all candidates for the board elections who failed to submit complete criminal-background applications by the February 9 deadline were deemed ineligible as candidates for election to the board."

Furthermore, they noted, "The lawsuit was authorised to compel the former webmaster of the USACA, Syed Shahanawaz, to cease and desist in his efforts to hijack the USACA website. Shahanawaz was removed from his position as webmaster of the USACA on March 11, 2005 by duly authorised action of the board. The website belongs to the USACA and one person's efforts to exercise control over it cannot be tolerated."

Finally, the board turns to the recent "baseless allegations" that Dainty is thinking of suing the ICC. First, they say, he "cannot act without express authority by the board of directors. And, more importantly, the board of directors has no intention of suing the ICC or authorising Dainty (or anyone else, for that matter) to sue the ICC. Rather, we look forward to working together with the ICC in order to encourage the development of cricket in America."

They admit that "We are also aware that the ICC has suspended funding to the USACA, including its award of the annual grant, pending resolution of the dispute regarding the recent board of directors' election ...while we are disappointed with the ICC's decisions, we want to reiterate that this would never have happened if the dissidents had abided by the by-laws and New York non-profit corporate law ... Like the ICC, we seek a quick resolution to this unnecessary conflict and we want to strengthen the game of cricket in America."

The response of the members - and the ICC - is keenly awaited.