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The American Cricket Federation (ACF) released its draft constitution on Sunday and invited public comment.
In the draft constitution, ACF clearly states that it "shall serve as the National Governing Body for the sport of Cricket in the United States" thus putting to an end any doubts regarding its intent.
At the organization's Face to Face meeting held in Orlando on August 11, 2012, ACF said that its constitution would provide the bedrock on which the pillars of effective governance and democratic structures would be built.
ACF promised then that its constitution would have built-in checks and balances and its representative structure would be on the lines of a congress and a senate - consistent with modern democratic governance. It also said that the executive would comprise direct representatives of adult leagues, and direct representatives of clubs and players. There would also be a seat at the table for representatives of women’s cricket, youth cricket and non-traditional cricket. The draft constitution released on Sunday makes good on all these promises.
In the media release accompanying the draft constitution, the organization noted that its Constitution Committee had studied several important documents including the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act, Lord Woolfe's independent governance review of the ICC and best practices followed by the national governing bodies of other sports.
Announcing the time table for adoption, Prof. Gangaram Singh, the Coordinator of the Constitution Committee, said: “It has long been our goal to provide US Cricket with a selfless platform that will unite all cricket constituencies through a universal appeal that can accelerate US cricket development. In addition to the months of internal committee deliberations of several experts and experienced cricket administrators, and unanimous adoption by the Steering Committee, we determined that the draft should also be made available for comment and input to the wider cricket community for whose benefit it was designed”.
Through its constitution, ACF demonstrates its commitment to widening its membership and making the organization inclusive. The constitution enables ACF to accommodate several classes of members and also provides for designations such as Women, College, Youth and Softball cricketers.
In a bid to create a system of checks and balances, ACF's constitution contemplates an eleven member ACF Board, which will have ultimate authority over the business and policies of the ACF and an eleven member Advisory and Judicial Committee.
The ACF Board will comprise six directors from the league zones, four directors at-large, and one independent director. Of the four at-large directors, one will be directly elected by softball leagues and three will be elected by player and club members. The presence of an independent member is consistent with Lord Woolfe's report and corporate best practices, ACF noted in its release.
In addition, the constitution calls for a senate like body, the Advisory and Judicial Committee. The Advisory and Judicial Committee will comprise eleven members. Men and Women’s clubs and players will be represented by two committee members each. The committee will also have direct representation from hardball and softball cricket leagues. The remainining members will be elected by Development Administrators and College/Youth cricketers. This Advisory and Judicial Committee will discuss matters to be taken to the Board and also serve as the dispute resolution body.
The constitution also proposes term limits. Members of the ACF Board may not serve more than two successive terms. The Advisory and Judicial Committee will have a two-term limit with each term lasting 4 years.
The draft constitution and an automated feedback form were made available via the internet through this link. ACF noted that the initial comment period will close on January 31, 2013 and that it expects formal adoption of the constitution in February. FAQs and interpretative guidance would also be posted shortly, the organization noted.