Now, you can get all the USA Cricket updates via Facebook. Also follow us on Twitter via @dreamcricket
[First posted on March 6, 2012. Updated on March 7, 2012 to reflect new information contained in Mr. Ahmed's media release.]
USACA announced on March 6, 2012, that it would hold its AGM and election for executive members of the board on April 14, 2012 in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Fifteen member leagues in good standing have been invited to the meeting. USACA’s last AGM was held in Dallas in 2010.
USACA also posted a list of the 48 leagues that can submit nominations for the forthcoming election although only the sitting presidents of the 15 'USACA member leagues in good standing and approved by the Board as being eligible' may vote in the election. Nominations are expected to close on Monday, March 12, 2012. Proxy voting and mail-in ballots will be accepted in accordance with the constitution.
The much postponed election has been doused in controversy. With most of the leagues stripped off their vote, USA cricket's hopes have all but been dashed.
Condemning USACA’s decision that only 15 leagues can vote, Atul Ahuja and his slate of candidates announced that they were going to boycott the election. “Team Ahuja reiterates that the role of the governing body is to include and not exclude the vast majority of stakeholders and custodians of cricket in the United States,” they noted in a media release. Several other candidates have expressed anguish and are reconsidering their options.
Nabeel Ahmed's Campaign issued a press release in which the presidential candidate is quoted as saying "I, as a concerned cricket fan and a presidential candidate, was hopeful that a greater number of leagues would have met the eligibility requirements, but, as USACA noted in a previous release, its final decision is binding."
"Let's move forward, participate in the election process, and move USACA in a new direction," Mr. Ahmed urged.
Mr. Ahmed wrote that "The one criterion, from which ineligible leagues could not escaped (sic) blame would be in the area of payment of dues, and as noted in the compliance report, this category was missing in some cases." Mr. Ahmed implied that the dues category (League has paid dues for all of its member clubs) was important. In a twist of irony, in the compliance spreadsheet document that was issued on February 10, 2012, Mr. Ahmed's Great Lakes Cricket Conference was found not to have met this very requirement.
It is noteworthy that GLCC was found to be compliant in all remaining (8) categories and was ruled eligible to vote. However, another league in Mr. Ahmed's region, the Midwest Cricket Conference, which was found to be compliant in the same number of categories, and had also met the requirement surrounding payment of dues, was ruled ineligible to vote.
In any event, Mr. Ahmed asserted his view that the eligible leagues must still continue with the electoral process. "The process, flawed as it might be, has been completed, and now it's time to get involved in the process so that some of these perceived injustices addressed. We urge eligible leagues to participate in the electoral process and vote for the individuals best suited to move USACA forward during these turbulent times," Mr. Ahmed noted, adding that "The number of leagues which are declated compliant is not very encouraging, and I believe this exercise should have been completed a few years ago, but, be that as it may, the compliance report was completed by a reputable legal firm, and I am convinced that Attorney Chance will have the back-up documents to support the reported results."
The AGM's agenda includes reports of regional administrations. Due to recent developments, three USACA regions – North East, North West, South West – have fallen below the three-league minimum. Two other regions - New York and Atlantic - have witnessed significant erosion in the number of full member leagues in good standing.
In a separate media release, USACA noted that a townhall meeting was held on the afternoon of March 3, 2012 with participation of league presidents ‘covering a broad geographic area.’ “The key issue discussed was to focus and get momentum behind a national youth cricket initiative,” USACA noted.
According to the release, "The agreed plan of action is for USACA to start a process, based on a current strategic review, which will be presented to leagues as a set of alternative plans that will allow each league to reach inside their own communities to build interest, participation and continued education and support for youth and women's cricket."
Several leagues that DreamCricket.com spoke to were unaware of such a townhall meeting. Administrators of three youth cricket programs said they too had no knowledge of such a meeting.