Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna
The USA Cricket Association's status as a suspended Associate member is expected to be upheld but without going to the next step of expulsion at the upcoming ICC Annual Conference in Edinburgh. In an interview with ESPNcricinfo during his recent meetings held in the USA, the ICC head of global development Tim Anderson stated that USACA needs to be given a fair chance to meet reinstatement conditions that were laid out to them last year before a final determination is given.
"USACA cannot be expelled at this year's annual conference," Anderson told ESPNcricinfo in Colorado Springs where the ICC are in the process of shifting their Americas office from Toronto. "I think that is an important point to make that a suspended member is still a member. There will be an update to our board at our annual conference meeting at the end of June. I know the community at large is very interested in this topic. USACA as our current member needs to be given sufficient opportunity to meet those reinstatement conditions."
"Some of the conditions have changed over the last 12 months including the requirement to develop a new constitution for US cricket which is now sitting with the US cricket advisory committee to consider that. Things have changed over the course of time so we need to appreciate that because we've changed things, USACA needs to be given appropriate time to assess that."
According to the ICC's Articles of Association, article 2.6 section B states that expulsion or cessation of membership following a period of suspension can only occur "upon the requisite resolution being passed at [Annual] Conference following a proposal notified in writing to the Chief Executive prior to 31st December in any year for consideration at Conference in the immediately following year, such proposal being made and seconded by Full Members."
No such resolution was put forward to the ICC board by the end of 2015. Anderson sent out an email to the US cricket community on Thursday informing them that USACA has until December 15 to meet reinstatement conditions, chief among them to ratify a new constitution. If USACA does not, it would leave 16 days for a board resolution to be proposed, setting up USACA for potentially being expelled from membership in June 2017.
On the topic of the constitution, Anderson held a meeting with the 10-person Sustainable Foundation US advisory group last weekend in Colorado Springs in which members of the US Olympic Committee were also in attendance. Developing a constitution that fits in with USOC guidelines is something Anderson said is a priority for the Sustainable Foundation group going forward.
"We're all aware of the disjointed nature of the community at this point in time," Anderson said. "Having a constitution that is able to secure the future of US cricket and bring all parties together is absolutely fundamental to the game's successful future here. So as part of the reinstatement conditions as they currently stand, we've put together an advisory group representative of a broad spectrum of US cricket and other experts that over this weekend were considering what a unifying constitution might look like and what principles and fundamentals should be included to bring US cricket together.
"One of the elements of that was whether cricket should be a member of the USOC. The USOC has a number of mandatory requirements for its members to have in their constitution. Rick Adams, one of the senior executives of the USOC, attended that meeting and gave some background on what the USOC is about, what benefits it can offer sports in America and how being part of the USOC has some obligations not just in terms of constitution but other things as well. The general view of the group is that it's right for cricket to be a part of the USOC and therefore the mainstream American sports family."
Among the constitutional guidelines required to meet USOC statutes are athlete representation on the USACA board as well as independent directors. Those were included in a series of recommendations produced by TSE Consulting in a governance review in 2013, but were eventually rejected for inclusion in a proposed new constitution at that year's USACA Annual General Meeting.
As for a timeframe for when a new constitution might be presented to USACA for ratification or rejection, Anderson hopes that it can be accomplished within the next one to two months. Anderson said though that although ratifying a new constitution is the number one condition for reinstatement, it would not be the sole determining factor in USACA's suspension potentially being lifted and that the other 38 terms and conditions must be met as well.
"USACA will be requested to consider the adoption of a proposed constitution in order to meet that reinstatement condition," Anderson said. "But at this point the [ICC] board's position is that USACA needs to meet all the reinstatement conditions in order to be reinstated as an ICC member. It doesn't meet all those reinstatement conditions right now. It continues to be suspended but it has more time to work on those things."