USACA, ACF asked by ICC to prove membership
The feud between the USA Cricket Association and the American Cricket Federation has taken a new twist, as both governing bodies have been asked to supply letters of allegiance from their members to the ICC.
The ACF was created out of the ashes of the 2012 USACA election and their membership has grown to the point where they formally sought recognition in February from the ICC as a national governing body.
Since 2012, there has been a lack of clarity between the number of leagues the USACA has claimed to be its members, and those which actually are, particularly with respect to those who haven't paid annual membership dues to USACA in the last three years. The ICC's request for USACA and ACF to supply confirmation letters could play a deciding factor in the ongoing dispute in order to decide which body is legitimately in control of cricket in the USA. Having two national governing bodies could potentially result in an ICC suspension for the USA, a fate that occurred in both 2005 and 2007.
According to the recently-released minutes from USACA's last board meeting on March 23, ICC president Alan Isaac sent a letter dated March 11 to USACA president Gladstone Dainty requesting updated information on a series of topics including USACA's current membership. USACA board member John Thickett sent a notice to all USACA member leagues requesting them to provide a letter to USACA chief executive Darren Beazley, to pass on to the ICC, in which the USACA member leagues confirm USACA as the sole governing body for cricket in the USA.
ESPNcricinfo has obtained communication from an ACF member league in which ACF chief executive Jamie Harrison reached out to ACF members on March 29, asking for each ACF league to supply a similar letter confirming ACF as the governing body for cricket in the USA.
"As part of the process by which a new national governing body will be certified for the United States, the ICC has requested that each ACF member league submit a letter asserting that it recognizes the ACF as the USA's national governing body," Harrison wrote to his members.
The communication is an indication that the ICC is willing to step in to mediate the dispute that is growing between the two factions. USACA is currently the ICC recognized governing body for cricket in the USA, but the ACF has grown considerably in the last 12 months as more and more member leagues have left USACA to join the upstart ACF. This includes America's largest league, the 72-team Commonwealth Cricket League in New York City.
USACA continues to claim on its website that it has 52 member leagues, but those figures are dated 2012, before USACA disenfranchised 32 member leagues ahead of the 2012 election. A dozen of those leagues have since joined ACF while many others have stopped paying membership fees to USACA. Seven leagues that were not previously affiliated with USACA have also joined the ACF.
A separate layer also exists with leagues like the Southern California Cricket Association, which has hedged its bets by paying membership fees to both organizations while the dispute over national governing body superiority is ironed out. SCCA hosted the inaugural ACF National Championship in 2012, but has still maintained USACA membership in an effort to allow their star players to remain eligible for selection to the USA national team.
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna