By Sham Ali
It is a new day in the NYR! Now that all the rigged-marolled in the New York Region elections is over and all the spares have been changed. A new chief is in town as the Regional Chairman (RC), Lester Hooper. Can he clean up the unhealthy practices that have become quite symptomatic in the region of over the years? Will he be able to bring the level of transparency, accountability and impartiality to the regions governance? Can he regain the confidence of the cricket public, a public that has expressed only disgust, disappointment after being disrespected and insulted time and again by a region that appeared to have acted in cahoots with the United States of America cricket association USACA, especially after the whole mess in the recently concluded elections? We shall see in the months ahead.
The task is a daunting one that may require the use of energy from the reserved container while the challenges will be numerous. Hopefully he can bring some respectability and restore at least some pride to the region affairs. He will need to carefully sever the tentacles of the USACA that may have polluted the regions business and its cricket overs the years. There may be a few USACA’s loyalists still hanging on the limbs looking on from a good vantage point, their presence should be fed with a long spoon and their input in the region’s business should be taken with a grain of salt. While any whiff of Regional Chairman’s association with the purported dealings and ongoing practices of the USACA will reduce him to rubbles in much the same as it did to the region.
If anything, regardless of the late start Mr. Hooper appeared to commerce his governance of the New York Region’s business on a good note. His success will depend on the cooperation he receives from his executives and committee members. The execution of his duties borders, to a large extent, on his ability to manage and willingly embrace the diversity among men at the core, and on the periphery that of his cricket and business associates.
While the current state of affairs of the region is in need of a major overhaul for almost two decades now, the question, and it is a very big one, is how receptive the league presidents will be to the restructuring of the regions cricket so that the means can be justified? The New York Region youth program should be given a priority with a possible fed from the NYC Public School cricket program. The region should seek to carry the insurance for the cricketers, not USACA; the dues from the leagues in the region should go towards the region’s business with a minimum requirement to the USACA. It is a total waste to send the NYR cricketer’s money to fatten the USACA habits. The RC may need to hold firm in principle and practice the region’s constitution and focused on putting the affairs of the region, and ONLY the affairs of the region, on a solid foundation. The region will need to implement clear guidelines to encourage stability and discipline and have the ability to address unwarranted behavior and undue demands from their senior cricketers, and the youths must be held to a higher standard.
It will be a refreshing new day when this pencil will not be obligated to air the overwhelming ineptitude that has cloaked the region in the past, but to be forced to acknowledged the numerous changes for a better region, until then we will remain guarded with an open mind. It will be most interesting to see how the new chief, Mr. Lester Hooper – a man of law and order- plot the projected course and navigate through his term. He will need all the help and support from the stakeholders and cricketers to steady the region that has staggered on ignorance for too long, way too long.