USA cricket December 17, 2010

Ahmed aims to guide USA cricket into a new era

Nabeel Ahmed, who last month resigned as first vice-president of the USA Cricket Association, has confirmed to ESPNcricinfo he will challenge for the post of board president at next year's elections.

Ahmed, who was born in Pakistan but moved to the USA in 1980 and has been actively involved in the game as a player and administrator ever since, said USACA needed new leadership

"Gladstone Dainty [the current USACA president] has been involved with US cricket for a long time and he has done a lot for it … it went through lots of ups and downs but in the end it was not enough to take USA cricket to greater heights. I think the leadership approach was very casual bearing in mind this is the national organisation and whole cricket community is looking up to it.. The leader's quality is to keep the board together and move it forward, but this has been clearly lacking … there was a division in the board at the highest level and that was bothering me a lot as a second in command.

"I realised things were falling apart and nobody was trying to control them. Some serious allegations were surfacing but nothing was moving, so out of frustration I decided to give up and I resigned under protest.

"USACA has no option but to be democratic and accountable from top to bottom. The organisation has to run professionally and according to the constitution."

Ahmed, who runs his own business in Farmington Hills, Michigan believes he has a "fool-proof plan" to take US cricket forward, and that involves making it a far more open affair than it has been.

"I want to change USACA from the way it has been run. It needs to be a democratic, accountable, fair and transparent organisation, one which cares about the general membership and has a system which is fair and equal for everyone. Participation will be welcomed from each and every region equally, and no region will be treated different.

"It has to be an organisation which cares about every cricketer, cricket administrator in this country and has open door policy and welcome those who are promoting cricket in the country according to USACA constitution."

Ahmed admitted the finances of the game in the US remains a major obstacle, but said he was confident a commercial deal he was actively involved in while on the board would be completed very soon. " I am sure it will go thru and I will be very happy to see it maturing," he said. "[The deal] is one of the best thing which is going to happen for cricket for grass root level and promotion of cricket at national and international level in this country. I was approached by all the commercial partners after my resignation I told them I have my differences with the leadership and some other members who had important positions but my full support is with the commercial deal because it was a great thing for US cricket."

Ahmed would not be drawn on the reason behind the sudden dismissal of Don Lockerbie as USACA chief executive last month - "I know why he was let go but I think best thing is to interview Lockerbie, a USACA representative or Dainty … US stakeholders need to know why" - but was critical of him for not focussing enough on the grassroots game.

I have watched the system very closely and I exactly know what USA cricket community and stake holders need and are looking for

"He should have done more and better for the cricket at that level. He had lots of ideas and a great vision, and in the beginning and we were very happy to have him. As time passed everybody started realising nothing was possible without lots of funds."

Ahmed has no doubts he has the background and skills to take US cricket forward. "I think with my experience in USACA for four years I have done my homework and have put a plan together to take USA cricket to greater heights and regain all the lost respect in the international community."

"I have established a track record over the years in the cricket community nationally and internationally. I have been very vocal and conscious member of the USACA board and always fought for what is right for cricket. I tried my best to bring things on track and make members do things according to the constitution."

"There has been some improvement in the last two years but USACA should have been more organised with effective leadership. The whole system has to be revisited; the favours have to stop. Everybody has to be selected on merit. I have watched the system very closely and I exactly know what USA cricket community and stake holders need and are looking for.

"Change in US cricket is coming and we are going to make it the best cricket market and cricket playing country. The old US cricket politics are over. We don't have time for negativity, we need to change gear and prosper. We need to start electing right people starting from clubs to leagues to regions and eventually the USACA board."

Martin Williamson is executive editor of Cricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on December 18, 2010, 22:05 GMT

    I too would like to see more specifics with regard to Nabeel's platform for moving USACA cricket forward. To this end, the leagues in the respective regions have a critical role to play in the upcoming election process. In a previous article, Sam outlined the duties and responsibilities of the leagues/regions. The REGION has a duty to elect the most qualified and competent board members. Let me be clear, the region's representative on the board is there for ONE REASON ONLY; to follow the dictates and execute the will of the region who sent him\her there. Too often, and in cases too numerous to mention, the league's representative will cast his\her votes on the board, and then relay said decision to league: WRONG,WRONG. WRONG. The league shall instruct the director how he/she must vote on all substantial issues;that's the protocol that MUST be followed. Failure to adhere to these protocols should be grounds for immediate removal. BY THE LEAGUE ONLY.

  • Dummy4 on December 18, 2010, 3:22 GMT

    Nabeel, it is refreshing to learn that you will contest the election for the presidency. However, we, the cricketing public would like to know specifics. What are the things that "turned you off" from the leadership. We want to know what specifically you disagree with, that the Board is doing - not doing.

    We would like to know what plans you have that is different from how things are done now, resulting in stagnation. How will Nabeel deal with all the negative publicity that USACA has been getting as of late.

    I know many more persons may announce that they will run. I intend to ask the same questions of them. Generally, each candidate will have to say how his plans will effective positive changes in the USAC governance.

    The public is kept informed of current actions of the USACA Board. What plans would the candidate have to see that information flow fdreely from the Board to the regions and the cricketing public. Our cricket needs to move forward. How would you do this?

  • Youth on December 18, 2010, 3:20 GMT

    This is a great announcement for the youth in Atlanta and other parts of the country. Orville pointed out a few key phrases out of Nabeel's interview. We the youth of Atlanta love more to hear "one of the best things which is going to happen for cricket for grass root level" that will take the USA Youth cricket to greater heights.

    Way to go Nabeel.

  • Your Man on December 18, 2010, 1:36 GMT


    I admire one man who has stood up for the system and laid out a plan for the general membership to be treated equally from the grassroot level.

    Don't you realise it is difficult to see the entire stock of the plan at the start itself..

    We are watching the 26M marathon not the 50m sprint.

  • Dummy4 on December 17, 2010, 23:38 GMT

    As I read Nabeel's article, a few key phrases "jumped" out at me:

    1. "The favors have to stop" 2. "Everybody has to be selected on merit" 3. "The old cricket politics are over" 4. "We need to start electing the right people"

    Nabeel has identified the major problems with USACA and is saying all the right things. I would like to see him get elected so that he can begin to put these policies in place.

  • Cricket on December 17, 2010, 20:54 GMT

    I completely agree with Nabil. US Cricket needs a change in leadership.

  • Tim on December 17, 2010, 17:36 GMT

    Well, Ahmed didn't give any specifics about how he's going to "democratize" USA cricket, or how he's in any way going to make the organization more respsonsive to all levels of cricket in the country. Unless I hear that I wouldn't have any confidence things will improve with the USACA.

  • Ryo on December 17, 2010, 16:41 GMT

    It doesn't matter who's in charge, or how much money is trying to be pumped into USA cricket. If the Americans don't want cricket it will never take off. You can't force them. We've been here plenty of times before, every few years another push to get cricket to take off. But at the end of the day, cricket will never thrive with just a disparate ex-pat community, spread thinly across the country.

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