By Sham Ali
The united state of affairs in the much anticipated election of the United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) is now hanging on a thread as the association’s mockery of democracy takes center stage. The due date for the election now appeared to be a curse for the leadership of the national body. A leadership that has been shrouded in mysteries over the last decades is now haunted by the likelihood of being booted out of power in disgrace. After two suspensions from the International Cricket Council (ICC) for failure to hold elections among other things, the USACA is unbelievably going down the same road again. It would be dense to think that the ICC eyes are blind to the current deceptive maneuverings from the USACA while the cricket community in the United States waits anxiously, patiently, but somewhat apprehensive for announced date for elections from the Good Old Boys Club of the USACA.
It is disconcerting to imagine that an association, USACA, which has failed so miserably in its deliverance of transparency and governance of the nation’s cricket, is clinging on to power even more and continue to disrupt the nation’s cricket. The association has until now remained cloaked in their house and MUM about the sudden exit of CEO Don Lockerbie – a salaried office that had promised great developments for United States cricket while utilizing United States cricket funds under the eyes of the association. That due date for the facts is overdue. IF the USACA was in the right in the CEO saga, we would have had an earful by now, but maybe, the story has more tentacles attached. The splitting, ongoing war in the West Coast Region has taken a dive into a USACA constitutional interpretation mode.
The selection and management woes of the national team led to the embarrassment in the recently concluded ICC tournament; it continues to haunt a nation that had hoped to be on stage in the current world cup. The funding of the game at every level especially the grassroots level has turned to grass. The Regions are holding hat in hand for funding from the USACA for regional tournaments, with regional officials plunging into their own pockets to purchase water and food for their team while the association allegedly spends over $500,000 on cricket and yet the USA is demoted to ‘bat and ball’ cricket.
And now the stalemate for the election date by an association that has had an extremely difficult time reading its own constitution. As a matter of fact, many rogue leadership around the world have had similar difficulty in interpreting their constitution. Is the USACA a dictatorship within a democratic USA? The election selection stall may be a deliberate wait and see trick. Wait for the outcomes of the league elections and who will be the presidents of the leagues in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Washington, and then see how best they can make pledges and phony promises to the gullible league presidents to solicit their votes. The leadership of these leagues that represent the New York, Atlantic, and North East regions are predominantly from the Caribbean countries. The other regions are split between Indians and Pakistanis. Who will vote for whom is anyone’s guess. If the ‘methods – a very sad one indeed’ that was employed in the last election to hold on to power with eleventh hour offerings to gain vote(s) is by any measure on course again, then the cricket community is on a path for turbulent times and sadly remained circumspect. Delaying the election date and plan to announce the date with a limited time frame may be a deliberate act to present league representatives with the task of readjusting their work and private schedule with the hope that they cannot attend the AGM and to have them vote by proxy, and additionally an effort to stall potential candidates from timely campaigning. To go down the way of putting proxy votes under the directives of the USACA spell corruption.
It is hard to imagine a more needless development engineered by the USACA at the expense of the US cricket community that will irrevocably tarnish the chapter in United States cricket. For the USACA leadership to AGAIN expose the country to the risks of being suspended from the International Cricket Community is an association whose heart clearly does not beat for US cricket, and behaves as such that they, USACA, can rudely insult and callously toy with the US cricket community.
The current leadership has so unashamedly starved United States cricket of its ‘nutritional value’. Could it be that it may even pride itself in taking milk from a child, and that that may be their legacy? It is not surprising that they will be brazen enough to waltz into an election as a candidate with a stoned face and defend their checkered tract record and the expenditures of the financial report as if the leadership is ordained with the right to milk every penny and get ‘fat’ on United States Cricket free money. Tucked in a corner somewhere is the leadership of the USACA that has become afraid of its own shadow and perhaps living the last rights in the haunted house called the United States of America Cricket Association.