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By Venu Palaparthi
USACA issued a status report of its development plan first published as the 100-day plan in May 2012. The latest status report, issued on February 21, 2013, comes four months after the last update, which was published on October 5, 2012.
The report notes the completion of its CEO search and the appointment of Darren Beazley as CEO on February 1, 2013, which is a major milestone for USACA. Equally significantly, USACA announced that it had hired TSE Consulting, a reputed international sports consulting firm, to perform an independent governance review.
Pic (Right): TSE Consulting is an expert in the field of sports management. It is also the publisher of a book on sports management titled 'The new sports organisation.'
TSE Consulting has extensive experience with advising sports bodies and its resume includes International Basketball Federation, World Archery Federation and International Association of Athletics Federations. In the US, the firm is said to have advised several national bodies including US Bowling Congress, US Rowing and USA Taekwondo.
The consulting firm's report is expected in Q4, 2013 and the project is estimated to cost USACA in the high five-figures. USACA's few remaining member-leagues and ICC will undoubtedly be impressed by USACA's much awaited initiative to regain the trust of the cricket community.
However, the latest move is unlikely to appease a majority of cricket leagues who view it as window dressing. Many of the expelled leagues have long questioned the constitutionality of the decisions leading to the controversial 2012 election and the election's eventual outcome. By the time TSE submits its independent report, the present USACA board would have completed half its term. USACA will most likely be entering a new election cycle by the time TSE's recommendations are accepted and acted upon.
On a positive note, USACA appears keen on turning the corner on public and media relations. USACA noted in its latest status report that a review of all media relations will be one of the primary focus areas of the new CEO.
Coach education is another area where the latest status report points to signs of new life. In the October release, USACA noted: "Coaching is a priority going forward; coaching sessions and high performance clinics will be conducted by Robin Singh within 45 days from the date of this press release." The latest release confirms that Robin Singh "will be educating coaches and staff involved in the USACA High Performance Program increasing their knowledge and expertise."
However, there is no mention of the status of the $65,000 that was allocated to youth/women's cricket, first mentioned in the October report. Likewise, no new details were available on the progress made by the compliance committee whose activities have "awaited full board approval" since October. The new status report is also significant in one other respect.
The organization has wisely omitted any mention of the original '100 day plan' (picture above) in the latest report, preferring to call it a 'development plan.' USACA has always been long on intent and short on execution. With the new CEO now finally in place, USACA has the bandwidth to focus on delivery.