By Sham Ali
The elections in the New York Region (NYR) are scheduled for May 1, 2011. It was a decision made to get the region’s affairs in order against much huffing and puffing from the United States of America Cricket Association (USACA). At that, the decision appeared to be a slap-in-the-face, one which may unfortunately suffer a backlash at a later date.

New York Cricket Region

The NYR, in the past, held its elections in January to give it time to plan for the season, however, since this is an election year across the country, the NYR stalemate may have been influenced from the ‘higher authorities’, since the May 1 date gave rise to some angry tones. If the USACA had their way the elections may have been pushed to sometime in June / July to fall in sync with USACA’s workings.

However, the NYR will have no further delay since they have to get the region’s affairs in order, let’s not forget that this is still cricket in the NYR / USACA. And who will take the leadership and representative role in the region will be crucial to the future of the game. If the elections turn out to be a mere formality and the region’s affairs are yet again placed on the backburner plying to the whims and fancy of a few, and the league presidents protect their territory for posterity, then the game in the region  is doomed to go tumbling down the same old road until it collapses upon itself.

The administrators of the region over the last decade or so have been quite tardy in their duties for reasons that are sometimes incomprehensible, and at times quite petty, with only a few bearing the burden.  Hopefully, that will end and there will be executives who are able conduct the regions business with utmost impartiality, executives whose hearts beat for cricket with the region’s interest of good governance at hand, and not those who just want to moist their egotistical appetite for posterity. Executives who will be firm in developing and executing a comprehensive plan for the growth of the game, the ability to disseminate information on a timely basis under proper directives from the region’s executive body, and away from  the ‘ghost’ that is presently posting information about the region’s activities.

But much to the demise and destruction of the region, though, is the disease that spreads by foul tongue from lips to ears by men who love to gossip. The region could ill-afford that divisiveness that has plagued it over the years; the vicious character assassination on officials coupled with and the parading of ‘masquerading bureaucrats’.’  Here is just one example that transpired in the U19 tournament held recently in New York. Some of the NYR youths were placed on the U19 reserve list, but instead of showing some loyalty and discipline; they were led away to the neighboring region under the advice from ‘someone’ and then showed up to play against the NYR. That is sickening. It was perhaps designed to infect and to drag the youths and the region’s cricket through the sewer, and ultimately to destroy the discipline that is inherent in the game.  How timely to remember this dastardly deed on the weekend of Easter that marks, possibly, the greatest example of betrayal, and not by an enemy or a stranger, but by our very own disciple.

There could not be a greater demonstration of improper conduct, nor a clearer example of penniless, power-hungry, and utter stupidity, and for what – just to gain some cheap popularity. If that is the way you teach youths for the next generation, then hell is at your disposal in a hand-basket. The youth coordinator position has had its share of egotistical trips with men clinging on to cheap popularity while the youths are being tugged around. If the interest is in the youths, then they should not be forced to associate with a particular clique to increase their chances to represent the region. That method strangled the innocent youths, and by any definition is unhealthy for the region, and that is, ultimately, the underlying concern. Who will occupy that position is anyone’s guess.  Will the League Presidents be blind once again, and shuffle the pack and pull out a joker to oversee the youth program?  Let’s hope not, at this time though, all roads points to alpha-santoria.

As the election takes its course, the rise or demise of the New York Region cricket is now in the hands of the presidents of the seven leagues in the region; Metropolitan Cricket League, Commonwealth Cricket League, Eastern American Cricket League, Nassau Cricket League, New York Cricket League, American Cricket League, and Brooklyn Cricket League. Hopefully the NYR election will not suffer any influences or arm-twisting from the USACA – lol. However, history has shown that in such a small circle, the most qualified is not often the candidate of choice but the rubbing-shoulder, teetotaler candidate.

The resurfacing of old faces; the determined existence of even older ones embodies the notion that only a few knows, and can do what is right for New York region cricket. That is the nightmare and may well have been the tentacles that held the region from moving upwards. Then you also have the sprouting of younger faces that has already showed how rude and dense they are to protocol and wearing the attitude that others do not know anything. That adds more of a problem than a solution, and is the ultimate disappointment that the old problem is also the new one, and maybe worst. CAN THE NEW YORK REGION TAKE A TURN FOR THE BETTER IN 2011; CONDUCT ITS BUSINESS WITH HONESTY, IMPARTIALITY, AND DEMONSTRATE VALUE FOR THE GREATER GOOD OF CRICKET IN THE REGION? OF COURSE, BUT ARE THEY WILLING TO DO SO, LET’S SEE!

The views expressed here are those of the contributor, and do not necessarily reflect those of