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USA Cricket: Presidential candidates express their views on election delay
by DreamCricket USA
Jan 09, 2012

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In 2011, the USA Cricket Association was due to hold regional and national elections with the coveted position of president the most sought after. Several people declared their candidacy only for a series of delays and postponements to occur with the end result that national elections never took place in the calendar year. Every candidate has reacted differently to USACA's decisions to postpone elections but they appear to all be agreed that USACA missed its deadlines.

Atul Ahuja was first to react publicly to the latest postponement when on December 6, 2011, The Atul Ahuja Team campaign issued a press release condemning the postponement.   In the press release, the Team noted that it was in favor of leagues being compliant and also in favor that USACA needs to comply with its own deadlines.  The team members, in a joint statement, noted that the 'league compliance exercise has been poorly timed and managed, despite popular opinion that this has been done for the express purpose of delaying the election.'  The Ahuja Team unanimously called for an early election 'to ensure that the 2012 cricket season can be properly planned and be run with legitimate office-bearers at USACA.'

In a letter to the league presidents on January 3, 2012, Presidential candidate Ram Varadarajan noted that he had filed a formal complaint along with Eastern American Cricket Association (NY) to the USACA board.  The complaint is the latest in a series of events that was triggered by the notification by the board that it had decided to postpone the constitutionally required elections.   On December 8, 2011, Mr. Varadarajan had written to the board to reconsider its decision.  On December 16, the board notified Mr. Varadarajan that it would respond to the letter "shortly" in a communique to league members. 

On December 20, 2011, the board sent a letter to league members agreeing to hold an election on March 17, 2012 but refusing to recognize votes of all members that were in good standing as of November 30, 2011.  As required by USACA constitution, the complaint was filed within 14 days of the Board's December 20 letter.  The complaint, dated December 27, states that the compliance audit is not a prerequsite to vote in regional or national elections, and to this day, the board has not identified any provision of the constitution that authorized it to condition voting rights on full, complete, and satisfactory compliance with the audit.  

The complaint calls for USACA to recognize the results of all regional elections held in 2011, including but not limited to the Central East and Atlantic Region elections; for any region whose election hasn’t yet taken place, to hold their election by February 14; to force USACA to not engage in any more delays and hold the national elections no later than March 17; permit all leagues in good standing according to the USACA Constitution to vote in the national elections and allow the leagues until September 30, 2012 to collect, prepare and submit documents in response to the administrative compliance audit.  Varadarajan and the EACA have requested that the USACA board notify them by January 9 whether they will agree to the appointment of a mutually agreed arbitrator with the goal of having a hearing no later than January 23. The complaint states that if USACA does not agree to an arbitration hearing, the complainants “will be forced to seek Court relief, including seeking an injunction prohibiting the Board from continuing to disenfranchise its leagues.”

Separately, the New Inning Foundation, the non-profit entity of which Varadarajan is the president, will be funding a program called “Embrace Good Governance” which is designed to assist any USACA league to “shore up its governance issues.” The New Inning Foundation has retained the services of accounting firm ASF Financial Solutions to aid leagues in this endeavor.

Meanwhile, fellow USACA presidential candidate Nabeel Ahmed has issued a statement saying he is against “any action which can ultimately hurt the USACA brand.”  

“Writing to ICC and threatening to file a law suit against USACA will not resolve the issues,” Ahmed said in a press release issued on or about January 3, 2012.   “If anything, writing to ICC or filing a law suit against USACA, especially by a member who is sitting on LLC appointed by USACA or sitting on USACA board, will hurt USACA, and subsequently hurt LLC as well. This could create a panic situation among the LLC investors, and in the process USA cricket will be the loser, and the LLC might lose its investors. This kind of action by a board member can put LLC in serious jeopardy.”

In an earlier release, dated September 15, 2011, Ahmed voiced concerns about USACA's delaying tactics.  "It matters holding the elections on time and  and leave the rest to the incoming board with lots of capable people out there who will be elected democratically to run this esteemed organization USACA. I strongly recommend that all the efforts should be made to ensure the elections should take place as announced on schedule and be monitored by the independent auditors as the constitution dictates," Ahmed wrote.

 
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