USACA chief Darren Beazley resigns
USA Cricket Association chief executive Darren Beazley has resigned after just 14 months in the role. USACA announced in a press release on Tuesday that Beazley was stepping down in order to return to his native Australia where he will take up a position as the chief executive of Swimming Western Australia.
Beazley's initial contract was for three years, but his tenure was six months shorter than his predecessor Don Lockerbie, who lasted 20 months before being fired in November 2010 for reasons USACA has never stated.
"I wish all involved with US cricket the very best for the future and look forward to watching the progress of the sport in the coming years at all levels," Beazley said.
Sources have indicated that the lack of support from the USACA board of directors to implement sweeping governance changes to USACA's administrative structure played a role in his seeking to leave USACA and return to Australia. Beazley went on a nationwide tour in October 2013 along with ICC global development manager Tim Anderson to campaign for support to back recommendations from an independent governance review by TSE Consulting.
Key recommendations from the review were to reduce the size of the current USACA board, cut their power in half and give that 50% to independent directors. There were also recommendations for establishing term limits for board members, redefine membership categories and introduce athlete representation on the board.
However, a decision was taken at USACA's AGM in November to postpone any move to implement the changes. Instead, a governance implementation committee was announced with any changes being delayed until at least the summer of 2014.
Beazley's resignation also comes in the wake of damning financial data made public last month that USACA was more than $3 million in debt at the end of the 2012 tax year. The returns showed a 47% decline in membership revenue from 2011 as member leagues revolted after the controversial 2012 USACA elections in which 32 out of 47 member leagues were disenfranchised.
USACA is also under increasing pressure from the American Cricket Federationn (ACF), which was formed in the wake of the 2012 election. Many member leagues have defected for the ACF including the largest league in America, New York's Commonwealth Cricket League.
Beazley had strong ties with Anderson and ICC top brass in Dubai but his departure may be the last straw for USACA in a series of administrative missteps. USA now faces the very real threat of a third administrative suspension by the ICC in the last decade.
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. He tweets here