On October 16, 2010, Mr. Sham Samaroo posted an open letter to USACA President Mr. Gladstone Dainty. We are pasting the contents of that letter below (verbatim and in italics) because the contents of the letter resonate (to a large extent) with the readers of this website as well.
An Open Letter to USACA President Gladstone Dainty
Oct., 16, 2010
The leadership of USACA continues to be the major stumbling block to any real progress in US Cricket, it would appear. The ICC, meeting in Dubai this past week, earmarked China as one of the key nations in the ICC Strategic Plan 2011-15. That China, a newly-emerging cricket nation, has been elevated by the ICC to such prominence is testimony to China’s remarkable progress in the game. Simultaneously, it is an indictment of USACA; of USA Cricket to make any real progress since becoming a member of the ICC in the mid 60s - that's over 40 years ago!
Andy Pick, ICC's Americas Development Performance Officer, did not pull any punches saying: "If I'm brutally honest, they [USA] have at the moment little framework beneath it to continue providing and developing their best players”. Pick pointed to the glaring disservice being done to Ryan Corns, winner of the ICC tournament MVP Award in the Canada Qualifiers in 2009. "Ryan was talked about to me as if he was the next great player coming through yet it worries me to see that he doesn't make it on the trip to Bermuda [or Italy]”, said Pick.
But how in heaven’s name can Ryan Corns make it when election-year politics, and not cricket, appears to be the overriding consideration in team selection? How can the young and talented youths break into the team when 44- year- old directors are chosen?
Of course, the first step to any meaningful change must start with a candid acceptance by the Board of Directors at its meetings that there are problems within the organization.
Ryan Corns - Tournament MVP ICC Qualifiers, Canada
Secondly, it is imperative that the USACA Board communicate its decisions, and its reflections on the state of USA cricket to the cricketing public. Who is responsible for disseminating such information to the general membership? Where can one get access to the minutes of the USACA Board meetings?
On Drive, to date, has never received a single communiqué or press release from the USACA Board about meetings, discussions, or decisions. A lack of communication invariably creates a void that fuels speculations. Rather than dwell on speculations, On Drive, instead would like to ask President Dainty and the USACA Board for clarity on several issues of concern to America’s cricketing fraternity:
1) Who are the members of the selection committee that selected the MNT for Dubai, Nepal, Bermuda and Italy? Were there any changes to the original squad that was selected, and if so, what were the changes and who proposed them?
2) Who were the officials approved by the Board to travel with the team to these tournaments, and for which they have received reimbursement of expenses? Were there any later additions, and if so, did the USACA Board approve the reimbursement of these additional expenses from the already meager financial resources at its disposal?
3) Who is the legitimate representative from the Western Region on the USACA Board?
4) Did the Region inform the Board that they had suspended the elected Representative and appointed a replacement to represent the Region during the interim?
5) Who selects the regional representatives, the USACA Board or the Region? Does the USACA Board have the right to refuse a Region’s choice of representative? The perception is that members of the Board are divided on the issue. What does the constitution say?
6) Did the USACA leadership refuse to authorize funding for the U19 tournament in the Western Region? If so, did it have anything to do with the current impasse?
7) Is it true that the USACA Board has not met in over six months, despite calls from various Board members? If so, is the current impasse regarding the seating of the Western Region’s representative one of the reasons?
8) What is the final disposition regarding NYR director Jeff Morrishaw?
9) Is USACA operating under presidential directive or a constitution?
In the past, requests for information have fallen on deaf ears. But hope springs eternal in the human ***, and On Drive would like to thank the President in anticipation of a timely response.
DreamCricket.com's thoughts on this subject
1) At DreamCricket.com, we agree with Mr. Samaroo's observations that China has made remarkable progress in a relatively short amount of time and USA's progress over a period of 40 years is spotty at best. It is also true that China was named one of the key nations at the ICC board meeting last week. However, USA was not left out of the strategic plan as the open letter suggests.
See excerpt below from the relevant ICC Media Release.
"Cricket development in China and USA
The ICC Board heard reports from the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) chief executive, Ashraful Huq, on cricket development in China and also from Justin Vaughan, the New Zealand Cricket (NZC) CEO.
NZC has a principle partnership agreement with the United States Cricket Association and will report on progress of the game in America. ICC President Sharad Pawar believes that both Members should be a focus of the ICC Board, which expressed continued support for the global development of cricket. The need to engage expert consultants and staff within China and the United States will be discussed within the parameters of the next ICC Strategic Plan 2011-15, which was also progressed at the ICC Board meeting."
2) If USA cricket's administrators cannot provide a clear and transparent path for promising young cricketers to remain engaged with cricket beyond junior levels and successfully make a transition from the junior team to the senior team, then they are failing as custodians of the game. It is an established fact that political expediency has come in the way of creating a meritocracy on matters of selection.
The exclusion of Ryan Corns and the inclusion of Nasir Javed is but one aspect of this problem (and one that we have reported on). It is good that this has received widespread attention thanks to Peter Della Penna's interview with Andy Pick that appeared on CricInfo.com.
3) Some (not all) USACA meeting minutes are available on USACA.org and can be accessed by clicking on the following link. (Not being a spokesperson for USACA, just providing a helpful link to those that want to read these.) For 2010, these meeting minutes appear to be awaiting approval months after the meetings were held. That is a concern.
Mr. Samaroo's remaining concerns on the topic of communication resonate with us and with the community at large.
4) We would be shocked if Mr. Dainty offered a response to the letter but still await (with bated breath) from anyone inclined to answer or shed light regarding questions 1 thru 9 above.