In an election for the governing body of Midwest Cricket Conference (MWCC) that was held on April 3rd, the league's members voted for a new executive team - the 'Team Change' - headed by Shekhar "Shekhs" Aravind as President.
Going into the election, Shekhs Aravind urged the voters to "remember 3 things when you cast that ballot - sponsorship, schedule and independent committees. You be the judge!" That message appears to have resonated with the majority.
Pic (Right): Shekhar Aravind, President of Midwest Cricket Conference.
Established in 1965, MWCC is among the largest cricket leagues in the country. It comprises 46 clubs with players drawn from several states in the American Midwest. The three divisions of the league play their cricket on 19 grounds, 13 of which are astro-turf wickets, and matches are held in several cities and suburbs including Chicago, Peoria, Milwaukee, Madison and St. Louis.
It was not an easy victory for 'Team Change.' Shekhs Aravind was locked in a tight contest with Tariq Ahmed, a tireless worker and a passionate cricketer who led the league for over a decade. In the end, the vote was a close one with 22 votes in favor of Shekhs Aravind and 19 for Tariq Ahmed, opening the door for change, even if by a thin majority.
Many of the changes promised by the new team are consistent with the aspirations of cricketers across the country. Shekhs has promised to inject greater transparency into the organizational structure, launch a sponsorship drive that is in line with the reach of the league's membership, and review the scheduling process so that fixtures are communicated sufficiently in advance.
Among the other changes Team Change is proposing is an amendment to the MWCC constitution to let an individual only run for 2 terms - each term lasts 2 years in the league. A change that other cricket administrators should also emulate.
The new team appears to be keen on increasing interactions with leagues in the region and in the country. "Our vision is to make MWCC the largest and most competitive cricket league in America. To attain our objective, the most important aspect is maintain cordial relationship with the peer leagues in the area. MWCC plans on engaging with the peer leagues, to establish an extended relationship with all the leagues in the region and the country," Shekhs Aravind told DreamCricket.com.
As a large league, MWCC has the same concerns as their peers across the country regarding the current USACA rule that grants one vote per league - regardless of the size of the league. "I think its unfair to allow smaller leagues to cast the same amount of votes as a larger league," Shekhs said adding that it could lead to creation of bogus leagues.
Shekhs, who is a Technical Architect by profession, is well known within the league for his contributions as VP of the Abid Lahiri Night Tournament. Shekhs attributed the successful campaign to his team mates and thanked them for staying the course in a tough election.
The new VP, Mohammed "Moe" Iftikhar, plays for the Muslim Gymkhana and is a well connected local businessman. Alpesh Gohil, the new General Secretary is "a consummate cricket bachelor, who pretty much eats and sleeps cricket. Someone who is extremely dynamic and has a never say "no" attitude," Shekhs said.
Hemant Shah, a CPA by profession, is the incoming Treasurer. Hemant plays for Deepark. Gaurav Patel, who is a Business Officer of the league, "is a local Dentist, who not only keeps your teeth clean, but also keeps our slate clean," Shekhs noted.
Shekhs made it a point to thank the invaluable contributions over the years made by the previous management headed by Tariq Ahmad and Sohail Alvi and the tireless work of many individuals including Marghoob Qazilbash, Humayun Baquai, Humayun Mirza, Krishna Meluvettil, Sridher Jagath, and countless others.