Khan promises passion and commitment
The much-anticipated elections to the USA Cricket Association's board of directors take place with many believing that they are the USA's last chance of salvaging their standing within the international community. Three candidates are challenging for the presidency, and in the next ten days we will interview them all.
We start with Kamran Khan, who captained the USA and has been involved in the game as a player, coach and administrator for almost four decades. He was president of the board between 1999 and 2000.
To run the USACA according to the constitution; to establish a mutually respectful and open relationship with the league presidents; the reinstatement of ICC status; design and develop national cricket championship for senior and junior teams; develop a constant stream of revenues for the domestic cricket development; to establish good relationship with corporate America; and one of the important goals is to establish and develop a solid national junior cricket program.
You appeared to enter the race late in the day with little publicity. Has this hindered you?
Ram Varadarajan has put together a polished team to oppose Gladstone Dainty while you are standing on a sole ticket. Is this a hindrance or a help, and how do you feel about being seen as the outsider?
It is not a hindrance. I've been involved with US cricket since 1972. I've played for the US national cricket team continuously for 22 years, including 10 years as its captain and co-captain. I was also a president of the USACA in 1999-2000. I've been coaching cricket at Haverford College on the part-time basis for the past 35 years. I've been well known in the US cricket circles for years.
Varadarajan has also spent considerable time and effort travelling round talking to regional administrators while Dainty is a known quantity. How much canvassing have you done?
Because of my involvement with US cricket over the years, I am well known in the cricket circles across the country. I've also spoken to the league presidents.
What is the message you have been given by regional administrators when you have talked to them?
The message I've been receiving while talking to the regional administrators is that US cricket has suffered tremendously in the past few years because of many unwise decisions made by the present administration. And, USA Cricket is in need of change.
Given all that has happened in the last few years inside US cricket, what drives you to stand?
My passion for the betterment of the US cricket.
In short, where has the USACA gone wrong in the last five years?
The present administration's lack of vision and planning, and unwise decision-making at the domestic and international levels.
How would you respond to people who say Dainty is the man to lead the USACA?
If anyone still believes that Dainty is a man to lead the USACA, they probably have not been involved with US cricket for the past five years.
Over the last two or three years US cricket has been deeply divided. How will you bring together all those factions ... and can you?
Yes, I believe I can unite different factions due to my understanding of the American cricket culture consisting of the players from the different countries and cultures, and 35 years of coaching students from all over the world. Besides, my philosophy of communication with people with honesty and respect has always helped me to collaborate well.
There has been criticism that the US side, when it played, was not representative of the country. How would you address this?
The procedure to select the players for the national team was not set up properly. In my view, in order to have a strong and representative cricket team, we have to have an independent selection committee comprising well-known cricketers.
Given the ICC's well-documented views on the USACA under Dainty's tenure, how will you restore the USA's standing internationally?
I have an experience of working successfully with the ICC during my tenure as a president of USACA in 1999-2000. That is why I am positive that I will be able to regain the ICC's trust and build again a mutually respectful relationship.
One of the most widespread criticisms of the USACA has been its complete lack of transparency, most evident in the way that stakeholders are kept in the dark and the website at times moribund. How will you remedy it?
As I mentioned above, my philosophy of communication is to deal with everyone openly and with integrity. This, I believe, will end the current mistrust the local administrators have for the USACA.
Funding has always been a problem. What plans do you have for attracting investors to the game?
To regain the ICC status that will bring credibility to the USACA; by having a five-year development plan clearly stating the development and growth of cricket in the country will attract investors; approaching potential investors by a well-thought-out plan that will be mutually beneficial.
Here I can also add that because of being in business for over 30 years, I've developed very good relationships with a number of small, medium and large businesses across the country.
Where do you think you can take US cricket to in five years time?
I believe I can lay a very solid foundation for cricket development in the country. Besides the points outlined above, I would establish a junior cricket academy, from which we would get a continuous stream of young cricketers; design and develop a national cricket championship; design and develop Under-19 and Under-15 national cricket championships. By implementing these programs, I believe, USA cricket will grow and be able to successfully compete at the international level.
In short, why should someone vote for you?
Being a cricketer I have an understanding of the cricket culture in the USA, a clear vision, plan and developed philosophy for the betterment of US cricket.
Martin Williamson is executive editor of Cricinfo