Now, you can get all the USA Cricket updates via Facebook. Also follow us on Twitter via @dreamcricket
By Peter Della Penna
USA Cricket Association General Manager Manaf Mohamed has disputed
the claim that the Central West did not know the USACA Twenty20 national
tournament was removed from Dallas until after a report was published
on Dreamcricket.com Wednesday night. According to Mohamed, the Central
West “recused themselves” from hosting the tournament on May 18 in an
email sent by Tournament Director Ramesh Thyagarajan, joint secretary of
the North Texas Cricket Association.
“While we would have loved to hold the first national Twenty20 in
Dallas, our ability to conduct a seamless, classy tournament without
sufficient time to plan organize and execute, and without the approved
budget and funds, would be seriously hampered,” were the words written
in a May 18 email by Thyagarajan, according to Mohamed. Thyagarajan
acknowledged sending the email after being contacted by phone, but says
that the Central West only pulled out of hosting the event because USACA
management ignored and failed to respond to a series of emails
requesting approval for organizational aspects of the event.
“Everything you send in an email seems to go into a black hole,” said Thyagarajan. “I know there are vested interests at play.”
Mohamed claims that the region sent him a budget that included a rate
of $95 per night for hotel rooms during the tournament, but that he
recently researched and found a similar-style hotel in the Plano area
for $39 per night. Thyagarajan disputes this.
“If he’s able to show me a quote for a Holiday Inn at $40 a night, show me it,” said Thyagarajan.
When Mohamed was asked why volunteers are tasked with the
responsibility to negotiate hotel rates and other aspects of tournament
budgets when he is a full-time paid employee who can take care of such
matters, he said he will most likely have to do so in the future.
“Traditionally, we’ve left it to the regions because they’re familiar
with the local businesses and can negotiate better rates, but
apparently we’re going to have to change that process,” said Mohamed.
Mohamed was also asked why the matter of researching and deciding on
acceptable hotel rates was not done in March or April rather than
waiting until the last minute. “We should have looked at that earlier,
but we’re depending on the regions to get us that budget,” said Mohamed
in reply. “Historically, what we’d do is let the hosting regions
organize with a hotel and put together a budget on what it would cost.”
Thyagarajan does not understand why the hotel rates were an issue when the payment is ultimately USACA’s responsibility.
“At the end of the day, the hotel was going to be paid directly by
USACA,” said Thyagarajan. “They didn’t even have to go through the
“The fundamental issue here is to be able to go lock in the grounds
with the city, to be able to pay the contractors for the renovation of
the pitch, the ground set up – tents, tables, chairs - meals and water”
said Thyagarajan, saying that the Central West was given a task of
assembling the aforementioned aspects of the tournament with a budget of
$13,000. The budget was separate from any costs relating to hotels. “It
is wrong and untruthful for them to say they could not come to an
agreement. If they had a budget issue, why didn’t they come to us? Can
we slash this or that? We never had that discussion. For them to say we
had a budget issue, it’s plain lying.”
“There’s no reason for them to do this unless it was all a sham in
the first place. I know the fact that our regional director [Ahmed
Jeddy] stood up against some of these things happening at USACA board
level obviously swung some of the thought process in a different way at
the leadership level.”