By Sam Sooppersaud
The USACA General Elections are a month away. One of the hottest topics being discussed in the cricket parks, in person-to-person conversations, and on the Internet is whether there would be a change in the presidency of USA’s main cricketing body.

Current USACA president Gladstone Dainty. Photo by Shiek Mohamed

For months now there has been growing dissatisfaction among the cricket stakeholders over the manner in which the President and his Board are running things. There has even been a call for a no-confidence vote on the president, though nothing much was done in that respect.  Among the numerous ills, justified or unjustified, is that the fraternity is complaining that there is no transparency in the governance of the organization.  There is a growing echo for “change”.

So loud is the call for change that five persons have announced their candidacy to contest the elections for the presidency of USACA. They are Kenwyn Williams, Nabeel Ahmed, Mahammad Qureshi, Ram Varadarajan, and Atul Ahuja. These gentlemen in declaring their candidacies have promised that they would do what it takes to move the organization in the right direction. Each has stated, in a general sense, what he plans to do, without elaborating. For instance, statements like “I would do things differently,” with no explanation as to what would be done differently and how they would go about doing things differently. Lots of generalities, but not much specifics!

Over the past month I have been speaking to the stakeholders soliciting their views on how they feel the present USACA management is functioning. The general feeling I got from my various conversations is that “we need people in office who would do the job,” and a definite need for a change in leadership.

I sat down with my notes and after much analysis I conjured up ten (10) questions which I feel address the current USACA issues.

A week ago I e-mailed those questions to the five presidential candidates and requested that they respond to questions within a week. As of this writing none of the candidates have responded. They have apparently decided, “not to inform” the stakeholders. And they are complaining about the lack of information coming from the USACA management.

These gentlemen are calling for “change,” so I ask on what basis? An informed electorate would most likely make a smarter choice of candidates. At least with President Dainty, we know what we have, whether good or bad. With “change” we do not know what we would have because the people offering themselves as the “change agents” are not informing the public how they would handle the change. There is an amount of uncertainty associated with “change” if there is not enough information on what the change is all about.

In my native Guyana there is a song in which the first two lines are:

Dem a watch me, dem a watch me.
Dem a waaaaaatch me, dem a watch me.

This song suggests how the people are “watching and seeking” answers to how other people live their lives, how they go about doing “their thing.” Well Messrs Presidential Candidates, the stakeholders are watching how you are “doing your thing,” what you are saying and what you are not saying concerning how you intend to govern USACA if elected President. Talking about change, remember this:

Dem a watch me, dem a watch me.
Dem a waaaaaatch me, dem a watch me.

Talk to the cricket stakeholders, they want to hear from you! Below are the questions that address most of the current USACA governance issues and current state of affairs, and seeking answers from the Presidential candidates.

1. What, if any is your major complaint of Gladstone Dainty as President of USACA?

2. If elected President of USACA, what would you do differently, to what Gladstone Dainty has done, good or bad?

3. What one thing do you believe USACA needs to do to connect with all of the cricketers in the USA?

4. How far are you prepared to go to show you are the leader of a transparent USACA?

5. Like Church and State, can the USACA board be separate from the selection of players to represent the USA?

6. Upon becoming president of USACA, what one thing would you do within the first three months of office, to show a “New and improved” USACA is here?

7. Now that you have declared your candidacy for president, do you have a slate in mind, if not which two of the other four Executive positions do you see as being most important and which current stakeholders would you like to see in those two positions?

8. What immediate plans would you and your board have for women and youth cricket?

9. What role do you see USACA playing as part of an ever-improving Americas Region?

10. Do you have at least a three-year plan for USACA for the next term of office and would you be willing to engage the leagues in the further development of such a plan, with the aim of having them “buy in” and take ownership of such a plan?