By Sham Ali
We just don’t get it, do we?  But we deserve it, heaven knows. That the administering of cricket in the United States may be so corrupted that even the stone-faced bureaucrat managed an occasional grin. And every so often, you have the purported pragmatist attempting, at times, to deliver the gospel to the cricket community and estrange those who dare to pencil the truth about US Cricket.

Scene from the 2008 USACA election. Photo by Shiek Mohamed

Such gospel will not fly even if the message is separated from the messenger. It is often an attempt to give hypocrisy a good name by offering subtle attacks on the truth by discretely and conveniently supporting the corruption in US Cricket. But make no mistake about it, the cricket community is quite cognizant of the practices of the national and regional administrative bodies and are kept well informed, more so today than any other times in the past.  And the threats from the ‘authorities’, hallow they may be, to suppress the information from getting to the public are now countered by a busy ten lane freeway of public relations/propaganda stunt in the shallowest of one liners from the national body.

Whether we believe it or not that The United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) and some regions around the nation are not strangers to corruption and crookedness is a choice one may make. However, the widespread allegations of elections fraud in some regions around the country and the suspicions that the USACA played a major role in affecting some of the outcomes were quite troubling, albeit at times those suspicions were vehemently discounted by the higher powers that be.

The cricket fraternity was soon to discover that that was as a foot-to-mouth disorder from the national body, and consequently, some acid were sprinkled on those suspicions recently and then burned in a report on ondriveupdate. The report published findings by the West Indies Cricket Board chairman Dr. Julian Hunte that speaks directly to the allegations of elections fraud in the Atlantic Region and that the USACA’s leadership may have tampered with the auditor’s results is quite revealing, and may be just one of many around the country.

It is comical to watch some of us trying desperately to put a spin on the repeated calls for accountability and transparency by the national body.  To watch them desperately try to paint these calls for accountability and transparency as unfair and poisonous attacks on the national body!  This calls for much pause.  Especially in view of the numerous failings from the national body and the current stalling tactics that surrounded the overdue national elections, along with those diluted ones that played out in the other regions around the country.

The memories of league presidents have become conveniently short. Only recently, in May, the New York Region (NYR) election was clouded in a frenzy of sickening, contradictory renditions of postponing dates while their officials remained MUM about its handling of these unwarranted postponing of deadline dates. The election was eventually held at a later date, and the officers (S)ELECTED were so busy that they did not even get a chance to introduce themselves to each other much less the cricket community.  But that story is for another day.

Now that USACA’s own interpretation of their constitution and of the election dates is almost here, they are scrambling, at the 11th hour. They have “UNANIMOUSLY” (Does the USACA has a different meaning for unanimous?) decided that regional elections across the country will be held soon, very soon, after the compliance review process is completed.  A Compliance Review Process – a last desperate tactical move perhaps to further stall the election process by an administration clinging on to a capsized  dingy in the middle  of the Atlantic ocean trying to “save” US Cricket.

And suddenly, with directives coming from the national body there is “orderly movement” in the regions like ants building a nest to get the election out of the way with “my man, your man” in place, and US Cricket back on tract; the tract that it has been slipping on and off before.  In the scuffle, the egos of the potential candidates are palpitating with everyone sporting a new clown suit purchased from the local 99 cents store.  Some even cost as much as $1.01 with no guarantees of the inevitable; that their high-priced suit will not prevent them from getting stung. Here is the first BITE.

The Compliance & Elections timeline has been extended. Please see attached.

So said the USACA mouthpiece, because the compliance review process could not be completed.

OMG, Good Morning America! Didn’t John Aaron say that before the process was even undertaken, and his advice was discounted? More of the same will follow.

And when the dust settles and the ruins of the elections are revealed, we will inhale the normal tendencies of the administration to defend their turf and will be given the usual bureaucratic tongue whipping: BE WARNED THAT US CRICKET IS NOT CORRUPTED – AND REGIONS ARE NOT, ESPECIALLY NOT THE NEW YORK REGION.

This fake indignation from officials has been a bit overdone now. It is really forcing junk food down ones mouth claiming that it is a necessity for life especially when the message springs eternal from some of the most tainted leadership from around the regions that they are just doing their job for the sake of the cricket.

Now that the 2011 cricket season is over in most regions, is there anything good to report about NYR cricket?  Well the EIGHTEEN HUNDRED (1800) or so cricketers in the 5 1/2 leagues, who pay their money to play cricket in 2011, will PROBABLY do it again in 2012. In short, finding nice things to say about the sweet talking foolishness is rapidly becoming about as tricky as mourning the great Caesar’s lack of interest in cricket.

Indubitably, it appears as if US Cricket and the NYR cricket for that matter is a complex nuclear physics formula and the person to solve it has not arrived as yet or is dead, Einstein. The passing of judgments, though, on these officials may be unfair and is perhaps the easiest of things to do, but what recourse is available. It is difficult not to recognize that in their attempts to do justice for the game that they have succeeded in committing the unthinkable. They just have this innate ability to divide themselves, engage in demagoguery and proselytize on each and anything. They find ways to handpick their officers and then parade them through an interview process to satisfy protocol, boycott intra league competition conveniently, to override their selection committee and insert friends and acquaintances. Each runs his own program, and officers function on their own agenda.

The USACA’s town hall meeting in the New York Region was perhaps conveniently designed for a selected few with the phones lines ringing nonstop at election time and runs dead a minute after the election.  Transparency and accountability is a thing of the past, and everyone who holds some kind of a position has a master plan to run the region cricket the right way.  And in the end, someone (most likely the regional chairman) is pinned to the wall with the league presidents and players throwing darts at him.

But make no mistake about it, US Cricket and regions are not corrupted, especially not the NEW YORK REGION. Those comical on goings, truth or dare, have PREMIERED A LONG TIME AGO, A VERY LONG TIME, AND ARE NOW PLAYING AT A REGION NEAR YOU.

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