USA news December 31, 2012

Former WACA admin top candidate for USACA CEO

Darren Beazley, former general manager of business development with the Western Australia Cricket Association, is the top candidate currently being pursued by the USA Cricket Association to fill their vacant chief executive position, according to a USACA source with knowledge of the situation. While former USACA vice president Nabeel Ahmed was named interim CEO in April, USACA has not had someone working in the position full-time since Don Lockerbie was dismissed in November 2010.

Beazley replaces Ed Burns, who previously worked for Major League Baseball for 17 years, as the top candidate for the job.

In addition to his experience in cricket administration, Beazley has also worked in several other sports. Most recently, he served as the chief operating officer of the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships. Beazley also worked as general manager of strategic partnerships with the Fremantle Dockers football club in the Australian Rules Football League from 2005 to 2009. Beazley does have some business experience in the USA outside of sports - he had worked as vice-president of operations for a technology startup called Funge Systems for three years in the early 2000s.

USACA had announced on October 5 that they had fielded submissions from over 100 applicants for the CEO position and narrowed down the list to five finalists for interviews with a candidate due to be selected by October 19. However, those plans went awry when Executive Secretary Kenwyn Williams engaged in attacks on members of the media and USACA stakeholders in a string of Facebook messages posted from October 13 through the 19 on a USACA Facebook page managed by Williams.

On October 17, Williams posted a message that labeled Burns as USACA's top choice to fill the chief executive position. Burns, when working with Major League Baseball, had served as vice-president of operations and administration before he was replaced by former New York Yankees World Series winning manager Joe Torre in March 2011.

Several USACA sources confirmed that Burns was the top candidate for the position in October, but it is unclear if he was ever formally offered the job. Sources have indicated that Burns removed himself from consideration for the chief executive position as a result of the bad publicity surrounding USACA in the wake of the string of posts made by Williams on social media.

Williams was suspended from his position on October 19 before being dismissed in November. He is currently suing USACA for $1.5 million dollars in damages, claiming in legal documents filed in New York that USACA board members as well as USACA's legal representatives, McGuire Woods, exposed Williams to "public contempt, ridicule, aversion and disgrace".

Peter Della Penna is a journalist based in New Jersey