A day before the USA Cricket Association had to ratify an ICC-approved constitution, the ICC announced that a "consensus" had been reached among stakeholders regarding a revised governance structure. However, the ICC release stated that amendments still needed to be made to the newly proposed constitution "in the hope that it will be universally accepted shortly."
"We recognise that it has been, and continues to be, a difficult time for the US cricket community, as the ICC continues to push for an improved governance structure, cricket system and increased professionalism in the administration of the sport in the USA," ICC chief executive David Richardson said following a meeting with stakeholders in Dallas last weekend.
Richardson was among several ICC representatives who met with members of the USACA board as well as the ICC's Sustainable Foundation advisory group, which included both USACA and American Cricket Federation board members, and was tasked with formulating the new constitution.
"I am grateful to all those who participated today in discussions which were conducted in good faith, fairly, reasonably and without any personal or organisational agendas," Richardson said. "I am more optimistic than ever before that significant progress for the administration of cricket in the USA is just around the corner, and I encourage the entire cricket community to continue to show the patience that they have displayed over the past months, as we continue to work towards unification."
The ICC had previously stated that USACA had until December 15 to ratify a new constitution or face potential expulsion. The proposed draft was put before the ICC board in October where it was met with satisfaction and then passed back to US stakeholders to be ratified.
The ICC release indicated that despite not receiving ratification ahead of Thursday's deadline, they were satisfied that progress was made with regards to several conditions that had been put forward in a TSE Consulting review of USACA's governance in 2013. Specifically, two key recommendations centered on having independent directors and athlete representation on the USACA board, stipulations that would also put USACA in compliance with US Olympic Committee governance guidelines.
The constitutional review and ratification were part of a set of 39 terms and conditions that USACA had been issued to meet for reinstatement following its suspension in June 2015. According to the ICC release, "The ICC board will now receive an update on the progress made at this meeting, as well as in respect of USACA's general level of compliance with the previously imposed reinstatement conditions and the plans to continue supporting the progress of cricket in the USA in 2017.
"Once consensus has been reached about the proposed governance structure with all stakeholders in the US cricket community, a detailed project plan to support its implementation will be developed and approved by the ICC."
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna