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[By Venu Palaparthi - A blogger and occasional writer of satirical pieces on our plight as American Cricketers. This is not one such piece.]
A bizarre post on USA Cricket Association's Facebook page caused cricket writers across the globe to stop and take notice of USA cricket. Not since GOP's John Bart King topped first class bowling averages in 1908 has USA cricket received this kind of attention. Unfortunately, it was the type of attention we could have done without.
By Monday evening, the post on USACA's official Facebook page had received more than 721 comments and threatened to trend on Twitter thanks to tweets by a former Test cricketer, bloggers and reporters.
One cricket writer correctly called the entire situation a 'hilarious social meltdown.' By afternoon, there were suggestions that the entire thread be forwarded to the ICC, whose financial support and recognition USACA continues to receive months after a majority of the leagues were muffled in a controversial election.
Here is a synopsis of what transpired and we have not yet seen the end of this sorry episode. It continues to grab the attention of the world's cricket writers (or bloggers, if you prefer). For a detailed version, go to the post on Facebook.
On October 13th, after Peter Della Penna wrote on ESPNcricinfo shedding light on a division among USACA's board members, the administrator of USACA's Facebook account posted a link to the article along with the following comment: "Peter Della Penna continues his unethical journalistic bias by writing yet another scathing article on USA Cricket's internal affairs." Addressing Peter that afternoon, he wrote: "
Addressing Martin Williamson, Executive Editor of ESPNcricinfo, the USACA administrator wrote: "
What followed this were the somewhat strange views expressed by the administrator on the qualifications of a professional journalist.
Addressing Martin Williamson once again, he wrote: "
Soon after, after bloggers expressed bewilderment with this definition of a journalist, the USACA Facebook administrator wrote: "
This led the blogger, David Mutton of The Silly Midoff Blog, to note, "
The USACA administrator proclaimed that Martin Williamson 'had no relationship with ESPN3' and proceeded to call David Mutton an "alter-ego" of Peter Della Penna, who he called an 'ex-knife salesman.'
The USACA administrator then went back to attacking Martin Williamson: "
He then asserted: "
Elaborating on his role, the administrator, by now it was apparent that he was likely the Executive Secretary, wrote: "
What followed was a veiled threat: "
The administrator continued to maintain that the two reporters were internet bloggers and not journalists. "
All of this led Andrew Nixon who writes for CricketEurope to wonder: "
By evening, another accusation was leveled, once again Martin taking the brunt, "
Martin's response was simultaneously amusing and tragic: "
USACA's administrator then followed that up with another bizarre remark. "
Even if the math does not add up, this latest iPad giveaway is similar to a promise Kenwyn Williams made earlier this year as the candidate for Executive Secretary when he announced: "I have 10 iPad 3's for the first 10 people (and by people I mean 10 of the 15 league presidents that can vote - obviously)."
It is a fact that 32 (not 42) leagues were disqualified from voting in the election. It is also a fact that Williams only offered 10 iPads to begin with. So it is not clear how 42 could be left over. It is not known if he kept his promise anyway. What we do know is that Williams received exactly 10 votes.