Cricket Challenges & Opportunities

Ten things to do as USA Cricket attempts a new beginning

2018 Feb 07 by DreamCricket USA

A new USA Cricket membership process is about to launch.  We should make every effort to avoid the mistakes of the past as we build a new organization for USA Cricket.   Here are ten steps we must collectively take to ensure that we get off on a solid footing.  

By Venu Palaparthi

A new USA Cricket membership process is about to launch.  We should make every effort to avoid the mistakes of the past as we build a new organization for USA Cricket.   Here are ten steps we must collectively take to ensure that we get off on a solid footing.  

First and foremost, wake up and register.

Yes, shake off that post-season slumber and ensure the success of the membership drive when it launches later this month.   Campaign hard and drive registration among your friends.  Registration as an Individual Member is open to all - cricketers, coaches, trainers, managers, administrators, officials, umpires, referees, scorers, fans and supporters.  Individual Members are a powerful lot - they have the power to vote for three Individual Directors as their representatives.  Add to that two Player Directors to represent those Individual Members who have played for USA in an international cricket match organized or sanctioned by the ICC (in the case of men) or played for any country (in the case of women).   A total of five of the ten directors on the initial board will be directly elected by the Individual Member class.   Law of large numbers, together with additional safeguards that ICC's Project USA leadership has planned to prevent dubious registrations, will make it extremely difficult to manipulate the election.   If someone cares about the sport and wants cricket to grow in this country, they should register.  

Second, if you play cricket, don't forget to affiliate with a club.

For a club to be deemed a valid voting Club Member, at least twelve registered Individual Members must have declared the club as their primary club.   Also, the club must have participated in at least one competition conducted by a registered league over the last twelve months.  Absent that, the club cannot vote for the Club Director spot.  Once again, Individual Members hold the key to ensuring that their Club has a seat at the table.

Third, make sure your club affiliates with a league to give the league a chance to vote.  

Not only does each club need twelve affiliated individual members (18 years or older) in order to vote, at least three such clubs must affiliate with a league in order for the league to become a voting League Member.  Additionally, the three clubs should have played in cricket competition that the league has conducted over the past 12 months.   

Fourth, don't sweat about fictitious leagues.  Just be watchful.

On the face of it, the lowering of the league-threshold to just three clubs has effectively diluted the influence of larger leagues.   However, a majority of the larger leagues were historically sidelined from voting, making this a moot point.  In the proposed constitution, larger leagues with their vast membership can still wield enormous influence through their membership, which comprises club and individual members.   Also, the lower threshold will ensure that a large swathe of leagues can vote for a League Director to represent them on the board.  That is a powerful disincentive to a type of manipulation we have seen in the past - the creation of fictitious leagues or spinning off multiple leages with overlapping club members.  That said, be watchful and alert the ICC Americas' USA Project Office if you see leagues that are fictitious.   Through its direct involvement in the USA, the USA Cricket Project Office has better first-hand information than in the past and has a more robust network than before to conduct additional due diligence when needed.  

Fifth, pre-register your club and/or league.  ICC Americas USA Cricket Project Office has compiled a comprehensive list comprising hundreds of hardball and tapeball/heavy tennis ball leagues and thousands of cricket teams/clubs.  It has also made available a pre-registration page for clubs and leagues to register.   Your pre-registrations will go a long way in matching your submission with the data that the USA Project Office has in its records, and will help with correcting data that is inaccurate, stale or redundant.  To pre-register, visit

Sixth, familiarize yourself with eligibility requirements for the various board and committee positions and get ready to nominate yourself and/or others.   As Mahatma Gandhi said, be the change you wish to see in cricket.   [For the curious, Gandhi did not say those last two words, but he definitely played cricket during his school years in Rajkot.]

Seventh, remember (and remind others) that the old regional power centers are history.   USA Cricket will henceforth be comprised of six zones and three conferences.   The six zones are administrative entities and do not have the political power that the regions had in the past.  From a competition perspective, know which zone you belong to and which conference you are going to be part of.   Below is a helpful map from the USA Cricket constitution.

Eighth, don't worry about casting your vote in person.  You will no longer have to travel or make arrangements for proxy voting, as was the case in the last several elections, or face the ignominy of being turned away from a general meeting once you got there.  Under the new constitution, no proxies will be accepted.  Also, welcome to the 21st century, electronic voting will be allowed.   

Ninth, breathe easy, membership is free.  Maybe not indefinitely, but membership is free during the initial honeymoon period.   USA Cricket has said that individual membership will come with tangible benefits right from the start and they only expect those benefits to grow over time.

Tenth, and last, brace yourself for a fresh board and a better future.   The new look board will comprise three independent directors who have not held an elected or governance position over the last three years.  And the two player directors will truly represent the concerns of the players.   The five individual, club and league directors will ensure that they act in the interest of the entire membership, not just their zones or leagues.  And there will be at least two women on the board.   There is immense potential for diverse views and ideas to be discussed and implemented by such a board.