USA news March 31, 2014

USACA board member Brian Walters resigns

The state of the USA Cricket Association's administration has been dealt another setback after the resignation of USACA board member Brian Walters over the weekend, less than a week after the resignation of USACA chief executive Darren Beazley. The Texas resident confirmed his resignation to ESPNcricinfo on Sunday night.

"Due to numerous personal and professional commitments, I have found it difficult to fully dedicate myself to my duties as a member of the board of directors at the USA Cricket Association," Walters wrote in a note that was obtained by ESPNcricinfo. "I have therefore made the difficult decision to resign from the board."

Walters had been serving as the Central West representative to the USACA board since winning a regional election in 2012 to replace the incumbent Ahmed Jeddy. Walters was the chairman of the USACA Governance Committee over the course of the last year and had been championing governance reform measures along with Beazley that were recommended by an independent review by TSE Consulting. Those measures were postponed from being implemented at the USACA AGM in November.

In an attempt to relieve pressure over concerns about USACA's governance, USACA announced on Saturday that they will hold a Special General Meeting to vote on a new USACA Constitution at a date to be determined later this summer. The release characterised the move as "the next stage of an agreed plan with the ICC to significantly widen the direct involvement of USACA members in setting the new direction for US cricket."

"The USACA Implementation Committee has been working hard to implement the findings of the TSE governance review and as sanctioned by the members at the 2013 November AGM," USACA president Gladstone Dainty said in a USACA release. "The TSE Report highlighted some logical next steps and we wanted to accelerate these recommendations and widen some of them for the breadth of the US cricket community. The intent in our charter has always been to widen the playing and support of cricket in the US."

USACA has also announced that they will expedite applications for leagues, associations and academies to be elevated to full membership status on a "case-by-case" basis at USACA's next board meeting in Florida on April 26 and 27.

However, if past precedent is any indication, USACA's determination to rule on a "case-by-case" basis may open the door to accusations from various leagues and representatives of unfair and uneven treatment. In the 2012 USACA election, USACA determined through a compliance audit that only 15 out of 47 leagues were eligible to vote.

One of the most controversial aspects of the decision was that the 47 leagues were divided into three categories to determine eligibility: 12 leagues that were definitely eligible, 12 leagues that "could be eligible" and 17 that were definitely not eligible to vote. Another six leagues were ineligible regardless of the compliance audit results because they were not considered full member leagues of USACA.

For the 12 leagues whose eligibility was on the fence, compliance auditor Robert Chance recommended that each league's eligibility be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the incumbent USACA board, with the board making a final decision. Of those 12 leagues, only three were granted voting rights. All three voted in the USACA election for the incumbent board members to retain their positions.

Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. He tweets here