Gladstone Dainty comes out fighting
USA Cricket Association president Gladstone Dainty has denied claims that certain leagues were excluded from April's elections because they did not agree with the way the board was being run.
Only 15 of the 37 leagues in America were deemed by an independent review in 2011 to meet the necessary criteria to allow them to vote in elections, although all leagues remain eligible to receive other benefits. Despite this, a number of them have thrown in their lot with the breakaway but unofficial American Cricket federation.
"I would like to state it's not true the board targeted certain regions," Dainty told ESPNcricinfo. "The constitution is quite clear about the compliance procedures and the rules are there in the constitution and in the laws of the United States. A number of leagues were not compliant because they did not pay something as simple as dues for the number of clubs who are playing."
This position was endorsed by USACA treasurer John Thickett. "No league was sanctioned in any way and USACA has provided a large amount of material to non-compliant leagues to help them to become compliant and offered the services of its staff to also assist them. By example, some leagues did not have a written constitution, did not hold elections, and there was widespread membership dues evasion. Very few leagues had youth or women's programs in place - a key development objective.
"All USACA members are welcome to attend the AGM. On voting matters, all members in good standing are eligible to vote."
Dainty also stressed that the real issue was one of development. "The ICC spends $600k to $700k a year on USACA - $300k in cash and then on top of that the ICC pays for tournaments and other events. In terms of dues paid from inside the USA we get about $100k, so the noise you hear about these contributors to US cricket - and some of them are even challenging the authority of the ICC - is really not good for the development of the sport."
"To break down the economics a little more, USACA membership is $100 per team per year," Thickett explained. "When USACA sends any one of the national teams to an ICC tournament the costs can easily run to $5000 per player. Individuals who don't want USACA to be a member of the ICC don't understand the economics of ICC membership."
"Some clubs and leagues are talking about being in existence for over 100 years but what do we have to show for it?" Dainty continued. "In terms of the noise you are hearing this hasn't affected a single player. USACA doesn't stop a single league or person from doing anything. It's about growing the sport and not creating environments for individuals.
Dainty also dismissed claims USACA was effectively bankrupt. "From a conservative accounting standpoint, there are lots of debts. We get advances against the rights for the professional league, but we should have been getting revenue from them of about $500k per quarter; we've been getting about half of that. We will get that when the league is in place and the investors are confident that money will come in."
He agreed that the balance sheet would show a poor position - for now. "In booking that revenue the independent auditors are saying: 'You are owed a massive amount of money by an entity which does not have that money right now … we won't recognise that revenue right now but we are convinced you will get it'."
But he said that in the event of the league not being ready to launch - and he insisted it would be - then there was no cause for concern. "We can live with any delay as we are not spending all the money we are getting allocated."
Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa