Dysfunction rears its head in USACA administrative affairs
Internal disputes have cropped up between the members of USA Cricket Association regarding the management of the association's website, usaca.org, as shown in emails obtained via sources by ESPNcricinfo. An email from USACA first vice-president Rafey Syed, the man who runs usaca.org, was sent on September 17 to three members of USA's management team at ICC WCL Division Four in Malaysia to admonish them for not sending any information/content for him to post on the website. Syed left USACA executive secretary Kenwyn Williams and interim chief executive Nabeel Ahmed off the email but cc'd the rest of the USACA board.
Williams responded by voicing his displeasure, not only at being left out of the chain of communication but that he had been denied access to manage the website in his role as USACA executive secretary.
"I hope that my non inclusion on the below email was accidental," Williams wrote to Syed while copying in Ahmed and the rest of the board. "I am definitely not defending Shelton [Glasgow, USA's manager in Malaysia] here. But I do recall sending you a link to all the pictures and updates from the ICC. You never posted any of the pictures. Again - my call for access to the USACA website is resounding here. I don't quite understand your insistence that you have control of our website. It's clear that you do not have the time to upate [sic] the site. It's obsolete."
Later that same day, a message appeared on the USACA Twitter feed, which is run by Williams, announcing that, "USA Cricket has just today become a new brand. In planning for the future - USA Cricket is developing a new website and establishing a new brand. USACA is now USA Cricket. Our new website is usa-cricket.org. The page is of course under construction and will be supported by social media until its unveiling in the very near future."
The front page of the new site declares that usa-cricket.org is, "The official web page of the future of cricket in the United States of America" and features an image of the Sydney Cricket Ground in Australia. Other than links to USACA's social media pages run by Williams, the website currently has no original content accessible from the home page.
A day after usa-cricket.org was launched, Williams sent an email to Syed and the rest of the board on September 18 saying, "Usaca.org web site is moot. We are moving to a new direction and format. I will need the old USACA name servers to move to usa-cricket.org in the very near future!"
In addition to the website conflict, several sources have indicated that Ahmed has grown dissatisfied once again with the direction the organisation is heading under USACA president Gladstone Dainty. Few if any of the goals, including the appointment of a permanent chief executive, earmarked in the USACA's 100-day plan published in May have been reached.
"It's been months and we have no agenda in place and no one knows of the plans of said committee. A plan that was apparently 'blessed' by the ICC. A status on the progress, the members and the minutes of said committee meetings would be appreciated," Williams wrote to the board in an email dated September 17.
Meanwhile, the upstart American Cricket Federation is scheduled to hold its first ever National Twenty20 tournament from October 6-8 in Los Angeles at Woodley. Representative sides from leagues including the Southern California Cricket Association, Minnesota Cricket Association, Michigan Cricket Association and Washington Metropolitan Cricket Board among other leagues will be participating in the event. The ACF Twenty20 tournament fills the domestic tournament void left by USACA, which has not held a national tournament at women's, men's or junior level since July 2011.
Peter Della Penna is a journalist based in New Jersey