USA news May 6, 2014

USACA facing suspension by ICC

The official governing body of cricket in the USA could be facing suspension from the ICC after seeing its tenuous grip on control of the sport in the nation slip further.

Under ICC rules, Associate membership is dependent upon a board proving that "they are the sole recognised governing body for cricket in the country." But dissatisfaction with USACA, the official board, has seen around a third of the country's senior hard-ball leagues sign up to the rival organisation, the American Cricket Federation (ACF) instead. Switzerland was suspended from the ICC in 2012 in similar circumstances.

To further weaken USACA's position, their chief executive, Darren Beazley has recently quit with frustration at the board's failure to accept governance reform being a contributing factor. The organisation is believed to be around $3m in debt and if the ICC withdraw their funding - currently believed to be around $400,000 a year - it is hard to see how USACA could survive.

Beazley resigned after 14 months in the job as he was unable to persuade USACA to accept independent board members - a policy that would have involved some existing board members resigning - and competency based appointments. Furthermore, he backed limited-term appointments to the board and introducing player representation.

High performance manager, Andy Pick, also resigned recently citing political interference in his selection and development plans. Neither he nor Beazley have currently been replaced.

USACA had hoped to boost interest and funding by attracting the Caribbean Premier League to stage some games in the country. But while there is support from the West Indies Cricket Board for the idea of exploiting the interest from the large Afro-Caribbean community in the US, any commercial organisation is likely to be uncomfortable about dealing with an organisation burdened by debt and with such doubts about their governance. USACA are also among the partners in Cricket Holdings America; a limited liability company that was established amid lofty claims to stage T20 leagues in the country. It has instead merely accrued large debts.

While the ICC could, in the long term, consider backing the ACF, there is likely to be some reluctance to set a precedent by switching support to a rival group. In an ideal world, the ICC would probably want the ACF and USACA to join forces for the betterment of cricket in America. At present it seems some individuals in both organisations are more interested in personal aggrandisement or score settling.

In USACA's favour is the fact that the ICC have a number of more pressing priorities. While the failure to exploit the American market remains a frustration, it could be that the ICC, beset by other issues, might allow the matter to slide for a while. USACA could ask for extra time to reorganise themselves, too, and are due to stage elections in the coming months. Quite what would change that could not have been changed before remains unclear.

USACA have twice before been suspended by the ICC. In 2005 and 2007 the ICC took the action due to governance issues. Then, as now, the president of USACA was Gladstone Dainty. Appointed in 2003, Dainty has gained many critics over the years. His survival qualities, however, remain beyond question.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Srinivas on May 12, 2014, 4:00 GMT

    Cricket in USA will take at least another 50 years to get some recognition. I see that children in USA are all dressed up to play basketball, baseball, Football and American football. I see no children playing Cricket here and they don't even know what a cricket bat is. Assuming that these are the children who should grow up into Cricketers in the next 15-20 years, there is no reason to believe that Cricket will grow in USA or that USA will play at least average Cricket in terms of quality in any associate Cricket events. Only BCCI can pump money into USA if Cricket is to develop in USA. But then again, why do you need to pump money into any country, to start with, when there are already many associate nations who have interest in Cricket? Baseball, Basketball and American football are multi-billion dollar businesses and parents want their children to be part of them. Well, is Cricket a multi-billion dollar business in USA now? NO. So, people need to get realistic.

  • Dummy4 on May 9, 2014, 6:34 GMT

    I would just like to point out that there is also a very large Indian- Caribbean community in the USA and Cananda and they are probably more interested in cricket, and West Indies matches then the other West Indian communities there. Thanks. For some reason West Indies always tend to leave us out, even though the fans are very loyal despite not much Indo presence in the team

  • ashok on May 7, 2014, 19:02 GMT

    Put Indians to administer and see how well the game grows...

  • Ranjeet on May 7, 2014, 17:12 GMT

    ICC Survey of who has more membership, USACA or ACF, was not fair as ICC stood by USACA side and asked both to get support. Obviously with ICC still with USACA, many members would be pushed to go with USACA. What should have happened is ICC should have done independent survey with not two but three options. 1. ACF 2. USACA with ICC 3. USACA without ICC

    Its very unfortunate that a country with so much potential of cricket is going down due to some individuals who cannot see beyond their ego.

    And it is even more unfortunate that the leaders in respective regions in USA, league presidents, cannot work together and bring the change in administration that the country deserves.

    ICC is in a position to isolate the problem, and eliminate it and put cricket in America on Track, but the question is Will it do it and if yes When ?

    Lets hope for the best and hope Cricket in America can rise above this political battle soon.

  • Dummy4 on May 6, 2014, 19:35 GMT

    very soon lauderhillwill give away to base ball or soccer people round cricket having food fights very soon game is over for cricket.

  • Yogesh on May 6, 2014, 19:24 GMT

    ICC will just sit on the side and eventually ask for some kind of resolution between two organizations. Nothing will change. Just hope you post my comments. For some reason my comments on last few articles have never been posted.

  • Amit on May 6, 2014, 13:35 GMT

    Captain Dainty...leading us off the cliff...Thank you for your leadership.

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