USA news October 25, 2011

USACA elections moved to December

The USA Cricket Association has announced that national elections will be held in December, with the results announced on December 21, in keeping with ICC compliance regulations. The decision was taken at a board meeting over the weekend, at which it was also decided to complete by that time all regional elections and also a compliance review by an independent auditor.

The decision marked the latest twist in the controversial saga of the 2011 elections. According to the USACA constitution, the current board was to serve a three-year term that would have ended on March 29, 2011. However, it was announced in March that the national election would take place on October 15. At the time, USACA board member Shelton Glasgow stated, "I know people are saying, 'It's three years. They were in there for a three-year term.' That is quite true. It says three years, but it also says within the electoral year; elections can be held within a specific time [no later than November 30]." Elections in December would be going against the mandate of the USACA constitution, which states that elections must be held by November 30.

The USACA press release also stated that the board voted to uphold USACA secretary John Aaron's suspension for six months and voted to no longer recognise the North East Region as an official region, by extension to no longer recognise the region's representative Tony Gilkes as a member of the board. Also, it was decided that Akhtar Masood Syed will remain the Central East board representative pending, "the establishment of a special sub-committee to investigate whether correct constitutional process was followed to remove Mr Akhtar Masood Syed as regional representative". Syed was recalled by his regional administration in June and replaced in a September vote by Golam Sayeed.

Aaron, Gilkes and Sayeed all travelled to Florida for the board meeting with the idea in mind that they were representing the wishes of USACA constituents by being present, but all three were barred from entering. According to a source, the hotel conference room where the meeting was held had a sign posted outside that read "Gladstone Dainty Meeting". The source said that a policeman was stationed outside to prevent anyone not on the "Gladstone Dainty Meeting" list from entering.

Dainty used a similar ploy in 2010 to keep Gangaram Singh out of a USACA board meeting, while former board member Raj Padhi's position was in question. Singh had been appointed on an interim basis to serve as the Western Region board member, after Padhi had been suspended by the region. Both men showed up to the November 2010 board meeting, but according to multiple sources a security guard was present and only Padhi was allowed into the meeting.

USACA's release also stated that Krish Prasad has been replaced as chairman of the USACA cricket committee by Ahmed Jeddy. Prasad, Jeddy, Gilkes and Aaron had been united in a stance against what they felt were unconstitutional actions carried out by USACA President Gladstone Dainty, but it appears that the alliance of the four men has now completely fallen apart.

Peter Della Penna is a journalist based in New Jersey