Cricket

General Election Continues to Be Delayed as USA Cricket Witnesses Shades of USACA Era Disorder

General Election Continues to Be Delayed as USA Cricket Witnesses Shades of USACA Era Disorder

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USA Cricket has a slate of 12,732 eligible members, but a lawsuit, pending in the courts, means their voting rights are still up in the air.

USA Cricket’s general election continues to be delayed, as the governance issues that plagued cricket in the United States during the USACA days resurface. USA Cricket has been in control for less than four years, but already the elections which were due to take place no later than December 2020 have been postponed until at least March 2022. They could be further delayed beyond that.

USA Cricket released an election update earlier this month, releasing membership eligibility lists showing a total of 12,732 members. This is a significant increase from the 723 members USA Cricket registered for the last election, in February 2020, but well below the “approximately 20,000” claimed by Paraag Chairman of the Board. Maratha and then-CEO Iain Higgins at the May 2021 AGM.
The eligibility of these 12,009 additional members remains pending due to a lawsuit filed by USA Cricket board members Venu Pisike and Srini Salver over the legality of new members’ voting rights. The couple’s lawsuit was initially dismissed in the summer of 2021 on procedural grounds. However, the lawsuit has since been refiled and is currently pending in the court system.

Former USA Cricket board member Atul Rai, who served as league manager from 2018 to 2020 but is now standing as one of four candidates for the post of club manager currently held by Ajith Bhaskar, called on board members whose terms were set to end in 2020 to “resign with immediate effect and not attend any further meetings related to USA Cricket.” Specifically, Rai’s request is for three board members: Bhaskar, Individual Director Suraj Viswanathan, and Elite Player Director Nadia Gruny. In the absence of elections, all three continued to serve on the council for over a year beyond their intended terms.

USA Cricket’s club eligibility lists make no mention of the voting status of clubs in five leagues which collectively have 89 clubs eligible to vote among 1,462 legitimately registered members.

A point of contention concerns the clubs’ voting eligibility lists announced by the board of directors. According to its own data, USA Cricket declared 397 clubs eligible, which meet the constitutional threshold of 12 members per club to be able to vote for the club. However, ESPNcricinfo’s own review of membership data indicates that there are 542 clubs that meet the threshold of 12 members per club. USA Cricket’s club eligibility lists make no mention of the voting status of clubs in five leagues – Colorado Cricket League, Commonwealth Cricket League (NY), Kerala Cricket League (NY), NY Bangladeshi Cricket League and New York Tennis Ball Cricket League – which collectively have 89 clubs eligible to vote out of 1462 legitimately registered members.

Regardless of this, the data on voting members in the elections reflects the changing trends in the growth of cricket in the United States. Prior to USA Cricket’s first elections in 2018, the Midwest Cricket Conference was the largest affiliated member league with over 400 registered players among the approximately 5,500 members. However, the most recently released data from USA Cricket shows that the league with both the most clubs and the largest individual member base in the country is now North Carolina’s Triangle Cricket League. The TCL has 1,153 registered members with USA Cricket, including 53 clubs eligible to vote and 137 clubs in total.

These figures help explain why USA Cricket and its business partner American Cricket Enterprises (ACE) in conjunction with Major League Cricket announced plans in February for a multi-million dollar investment upgrade to Church Street Park in TCL. The facility is located in Morrisville, a suburb of the state capital, Raleigh, and previously hosted the ICC Americas Regional Qualifier in 2018 as well as the tournament finals for the inaugural season of the Minor League Cricket T20 franchise tournament.
Upgrades to Church Street Park include the addition of 2,000 permanent seats to open up total capacity to at least 3,500 people, practice network facilities and TV broadcast facilities. The improvements are primarily aimed at making the facility more suitable for hosting matches at the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. ‘event.

Peter Della Penna is the US correspondent for ESPNcricinfo @PeterDellaPenna