Peter Della Penna is a journalist based in New Jersey
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The USA Cricket Association has announced plans to hire a new chief executive by October 19. The association has been without a full-time chief executive since the dismissal of the former chief Don Lockerbie in November 2010. USACA, which has not held a national tournament this year, also declared that multiple tournaments will be organised before the end of the year.
At the same time, the press release has sparked more administrative dysfunction within USACA. Internal emails obtained from sources by ESPNcricinfo suggest a widening rift between USACA executive secretary Kenwyn Williams and other members of the board.
In the October 5 release, USA's governing body presented an update of its 100-day plan, which was initially drafted at a USACA board meeting on May 19. Among the objectives laid out in the original 100-day plan were that USACA would approve a short list of candidates for the chief executive position currently held by interim CEO Nabeel Ahmed within 90 days.
USACA also pledged to have a model in place for youth and women's cricket development. On August 11, USACA issued a subsequent press release stating that a national women's tournament was being planned for the month of September in Philadelphia. The tournament never happened, which follows the pattern of the national Under-15, Under-17, Under-19 and men's tournaments which were all scheduled to take place between January and August but none of which occurred.
However, USACA has now pledged to hold a women's tournament "in the near future." The release also states that high performance clinics and coaching sessions will be conducted by Robin Singh in the USA by November 19 to begin preparation for ICC WCL Division Three, which takes place from April 28-May 5 in Bermuda. USACA also declared that it will hold a national men's tournament by December 19.
The release drew Williams' ire after it was posted on usaca.org without his knowledge. Last month, Williams started a new USACA web site, usa-cricket.org, after increasing frustration over the inactivity of usaca.org, which is managed by USACA vice-president Rafey Syed. After the press release was posted on usaca.org, Williams sent an email to the board on October 8 to chastise them for once again leaving him out of the communication loop. He pushed to have the press release taken down from usaca.org because he had nothing to do with the "drafting or distribution" of it and instead attached a different press release to be published on usaca.org which touted Williams' goals for women's cricket.
"My tolerance for the unprofessionalism of this organisation has reached its limit," Williams wrote in the email. "From the unethical behaviour of some of its members to the greed exhibited by others. Take notice that this board is divided and as such cannot carry on with the business of USA Cricket. As the executive secretary of USACA, I will move to rectify that division. I have worked to bring a sense of calm and respect to the organisation and at the flip [sic] of an egotistical switch all that is washed away."
USACA president Gladstone Dainty responded to Williams by stating that Williams' approval wasn't needed for a press release to be posted on the USACA website. Dainty also chided Williams for his methods of communication. In addition to his strident tone with administrators, Williams manages USACA's social media pages where stakeholders and visitors who voice their disagreement or disapproval over certain content are often met with hostile and insulting responses.
"I authorised the posting of the press release," Dainty wrote back to Williams. "To the ICC officials, your colleagues and other stake holders, your communication has been rude and demeaning. The vast majority of your [sic] colleagues find you stressful to deal with. So I will not force them to work with you unless you, at minimum, respect opinions and communicate more professionally."