By Sam Sooppersaud
Don’t some folks ever learn? Apparently not! The United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) was suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) as an Associate Member of that body from June 2005 to March 2006. This was the first of two suspensions. We were reinstated with the conditions that we adopt a (the) new constitution and hold elections for office bearers. USACA failed to meet these conditions in a timely manner. The ICC extended the deadline for USACA to satisfy these conditions, and again they (USACA) reneged. So the ICC had no alternative but to suspend us for the second time, in two years.
A statement from ICC on March 3rd, 2007 read as follows: “The International Cricket Council (ICC) has suspended the United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) for the second time in two years……” ICC CEO Malcolm Speed continued in his statement,” It gives the ICC Board no pleasure to re-enact this suspension, but given the lack of progress towards a functioning administration of USA cricket, it has been left with little alternative.”
So here it is cricket fans, the statement speaks for itself. The administration which got us kicked out of the ICC is still in power (with a few changes). They are doing their very best to “go down memory lane,” and get us suspended for a third time. Regardless of the fact that this was pointed out to the Executive Board of USACA on numerous occasions, there was stagnation on the part of USACA, then came word from the Board that elections will be held “between March 8 and November 30, 2011.” No specific date, but sometime during that period.
The last USACA elections were held on March 29, 2008. This was after the West Indies Cricket Board interceded at the request of ICC, and got our officials “to think straight.” Now, let us take a look at the Constitution of the United States of America Cricket Association.
ARTICLE XXI: Section 4 (ELECTIONS) reads as follows: The candidate who emerges with the majority of the votes shall serve in the respective capacity for a period of three (3) years. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that if USACA is to conduct (hold) the elections for office bearers as per the constitution, then this event must take place the latest March 29, 2011.
Do the math, March 29, 2008 to March 29, 2011. That is a time period of three (3) years. Now, folks, look at the announced date for the elections: sometime between March 8 and November 30. Let me dissect this time period. Should elections be held between March 8 and November 29 then I will give the Board of Directors a passing grade for obeying the constitution. Holding elections between March 30 and November 30 will be an invitation for ICC to enact a third suspension, again for failure to hold elections as per USACA’s constitution.
So gentlemen, on the sitting Board, I will urge you to rethink our situation. It is not like you are unaware of what ICC’s mandate is. I spoke to a USACA Board member on Monday (February 14) and he requested anonymity, so I will respect his wishes by not identifying him. He told me that he raised the question of elections and its timing at a recent Board meeting. So the Board is aware of their obligations to hold the elections in a timely manner.
Let me remind all of this statement from the ICC, “This suspension has been enacted on the basis of USACA’s failure to meet the agreed deadlines for the adoption ……. and the holding of elections…”
As I am in a cajoling mood let me point out another matter which the USACA Board should address and take action. In November 2011, (this year) the ICC Women’s World Cup (2012) Qualifier will be staged in Bangladesh. I have received several calls from players asking me for information on what USACA is doing with regards to the Women’s cricket Program. They feel that women’s cricket is being neglected by the all-male Executive Board, so it seems. When last contacted the Executive Board said that “they will get to it” after the Under 19 Qualifier is done with. Now that that tournament is over with, the ladies are anxiously awaiting word from USACA.
Though disappointed at how USACA is dragging its feet with regards to Women’s Cricket, the ladies are not disillusioned to the point of discouragement. They have banded together on the East Coast and have been attending clinics and practice sessions since the beginning of this year, at the Dreamcricket facility in New Jersey. They are working out under the keen eyes of coach Linden Fraser and Basil Butcher, Jr. These two dedicated coaches and the ladies are spending their own cash to fund these camps.
The ladies have told me that they are very motivated. They feel that they have players with the ability to make the USA proud of their female cricketers. All they need is the structure and support of our leading cricket body in this country. They admitted to me that they have turned to the media as a last resort because everyone else they have spoken to, including the respective regional boards have been apathetic to their plight. The women want the public to know what is going on. It is their hope that with public pressure USACA will look at the plight of women’s cricket more closely.
The views expressed here are those of the contributor, and do not necessarily reflect those of www.newyorkcricket.com