Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent @PeterDellaPenna
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The USA Cricket board general elections, which have been delayed by more than a year and a half due to ongoing governance issues, are scheduled to finally begin on July 8. Voting will be open for a two-week period, it will be done online and will close on July 22. Results will then be tabulated by an independent auditor before the winners are publicly announced.
The elections were constitutionally mandated to take place by December 2020. However, they have been held up by a number of issues, most notably a lawsuit filed in March 2021 by board members Venu Pisike and Srini Salver contesting the eligibility of more than 12,000 newly registered voters. The lawsuit was finally settled in May 2022, after which board chairman Paraag Marathe announced he would soon be stepping down from his role.
In the election for the club director position, the incumbent Ajith Bhaskar from New York is facing his biggest competition from Atul Rai, the southern California-based former USA Cricket Association president from the early 2000s who most recently held a USA Cricket board director position as the league director representative from 2018 to 2020. Nikhil Deshpande of Virginia and Susheel Bhat of Michigan are the other candidates in the running.
A total of 558 clubs have been deemed eligible to vote for the club director position by the USA Cricket Nominating and Governance Committee. This is a rise from the 397 clubs that were initially deemed eligible by USA Cricket in February and also 16 more than the 542 clubs which were identified at the same time during an independent review of election lists conducted by ESPNcricinfo.
The 558 clubs who have a vote represent leagues from 20 different states. This includes North Carolina's Triangle Cricket League, which has the most voting eligible clubs (51) of any league in the country. However, some states with strong membership bases in the past have no league representation this time: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. Separately, a number of the country's biggest leagues in other states - Cricket League of New Jersey, Garden State Cricket League (NJ), and the New York Metropolitan & District Cricket Association - also have no representation in the election.
For the individual director position, incumbent Suraj Viswanathan of northern California faces competition from four other challengers. Babu Venkatachalapathy and Kuljit-Singh Nijjar of Texas, Ganesh Sanap of northern California and Anand Patel of Maryland are the other candidates. A total of 12,381 individual members have been declared eligible to vote for this position. It is down from the 12,732 that was announced in February by USA Cricket, and far less than the approximately 20,000 members USA Cricket claimed to have registered in early 2021. However, it is a dramatic increase from the 723 members that were registered to vote in the previous election in February 2020.
A third position - that of female elite athlete director held by Nadia Gruny - is also due for a vote in this cycle. However, Gruny is running uncontested and will automatically retain her position on the board following the election.