The USA Cricket Association faces an uphill battle to get its suspension lifted by next year's ICC Annual Conference after the ICC sent a lengthy list of terms and conditions to USACA for it to be reinstated as an ICC member. Failure to meet this list of 39 demands may result in USACA's expulsion as an ICC member next June.
At the top of the list, a copy of which has been obtained by ESPNcricinfo, the ICC stated that USACA must get ICC approval of a new USACA constitution no later than October 1. It must include recommendations made in 2013 by TSE Consulting in their independent review of USACA's governance structures. The TSE recommendations that were delivered to USACA in October 2013 included setting term limits for board members and cutting the power of the existing board in half by replacing 50% of them with independent directors.
The constitution must be approved by USACA members by February 1, 2016. A fresh set of elections must then be held by June 1, 2016 to be supervised by the ICC's legal department. USACA first delayed a vote to approve the TSE recommendations at the November 2013 AGM under then chief executive Darren Beazley, instead opting to form a governance review committee to evaluate the recommendations. Another vote on a proposed new constitution at the November 2014 AGM was also deferred and the 2015 election went ahead under the USACA Constitution adopted in 2008.
A series of finance-related demands have also been stipulated by the ICC. Among these are that USACA must turn over all of its bank account statements dating back to January 2013, all federal income tax returns since 2011, all payment receipts and invoices since 2013 and all budgets and accounts for USACA tournaments held in the last 24 months. USACA must also produce a five-year business plan demonstrating how it will be able to find its way out of the $4.1 million in debts it currently holds, assuming it can satisfy all other conditions for reinstatement.
The ICC is also insisting USACA turns over all contractual information regarding its arrangement with Cricket Holdings America LLC, a joint venture with Rajiv Podar, Neil Maxwell and New Zealand Cricket that hoped to start a professional domestic Twenty20 league. The ICC also wants an update on negotiations with Overseas League Club of Bangalore and Arena Sports of Dubai, two organisations USACA has been negotiating with to fill the void of the CHALLC deal that fizzled. Both Overseas League Club and Arena Sports are linked with Robin Singh, listed as USA's technical director as well as a coach with Mumbai Indians and Barbados Tridents.
According to sources, USACA steadfastly refused to turnover the majority of financial documents despite multiple requests made by the ICC. The ICC initially raised concerns in a letter signed by ICC chairman N Srinivasan in January. They requested information again in April and also during the ICC's task force trip to America to compile a report on the state of cricket in the USA when ICC staff met face-to-face with members of the USACA board both in New York and Dubai in May.
As the ICC did in its report on USACA presented at June's annual conference, the ICC's reinstatement conditions also zero in on USACA's legal issues and concerns over fake leagues. The ICC wants USACA to provide evidence "sufficient to rebut the allegations" set out in section 4.53 of the report, which accused 11 leagues of being "ghost" or "paper" leagues. Separately, USACA must provide details on the status of all legal actions against USACA, whether made or threatened regarding USACA elections and USA team selection processes.
To demonstrate the lengths to which the ICC is seemingly determined to force a reformation of the USACA board in the hopes of finding more competent leadership, the ICC has mandated that "copies of the professional CVs for all current USACA board members" be supplied. Information regarding all candidates identified to fill the USACA chief executive position that has been vacant since April 2014 must also be provided.
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna