Cricket Challenges & Opportunities

New Board Taking Shape

2018 Aug 06 by DreamCricket USA

When the full board is seated for the first time in September there will be plenty of intellectual capital and experience at the table with regard to administering local league cricket, and in dealing with the existing cricket community. But to achieve the goals outlined in the Strategic Framework established by USA Cricket a couple of years back, cricket in the United States must grow beyond its traditional base.

By Jamie Paul Lloyd

After a number of delays dating back to late last year, 60% of the inaugural USA Cricket board have now being confirmed following a successfully conducted online election. Just over 46% of eligible voting members cast their vote in the election, representing a total of 2530 voting members.


Eric Parthen, the USA Cricket Project Manager, is encouraged by the voter engagement and the result of the elections, and looks forward to what the future holds for the fledgling National Federation.


“It is an exciting time for cricket in the United States following the majority of constituent seats elected under the newly formed organization. Each of these individuals bring a unique and diverse skill set, which is required for us to take cricket to the next level in the USA. I am enthusiastic to work with the NGC to finalize the independent directors as we look to fill the vacant seats over the coming weeks.”


The successful candidates are as follows:


Individual Directors (3 seats):

Avinash Gaje: 584.54 votes (34.6%) – 3 year term

Suraj Viswanathan: 557.23 votes (33.0%) – 2 year term

Venu Pisike: 547.98 votes (32.4%) – 1 year term


Club Director:

Ajith Bhaskar: 66 votes (55.0%) – 2 year term


Female Player Representative:

Nadia T. Gruny: 16 votes (69.6%) – 2 year term


Male Player Representative:

Usman Shuja wins with 100.0% of the vote – 1 year term


The three Individual Directors elected were part of an alliance of candidates which also included Aziz Savul who unsuccessfully contested the Club Directors seat, and Atul Rai who may yet win the League Directors position. The alliance invested in advertising on WillowTV and various online cricket platforms, but more importantly represented leagues and communities that actively engaged with the membership and election process.


Avinash Gaje, who is current President of the New Jersey Softball Cricket League, one of the largest cricket leagues in the country, is clear that his role on the board is to represent more than just his local New Jersey constituency however.


“I will work tirelessly to unify cricket stakeholders across the nation. I’m open to input, thoughts and constructive criticism to help develop cricket from the grassroots up.”
 

Perhaps the biggest surprise was the comprehensive victory of Ajith Bhaskar to the Club Directors seat. He was up against former USACA and ACF stalwart, and fellow New Yorker John Aaron, and cricket entrepreneur Maq Qureshi from Florida. Both Aaron and Qureshi were hampered by the apathy of their home leagues, but there still seemed to be strong support for Qureshi from the Midwest Cricket Conference, given his investment in tournaments and facilities in the region. MWCC had more clubs eligible to vote than any other league in the country with 28, but with Bhaskar receiving 55% of the vote, it would seem that Qureshi struggled to garner support in any other region of the country.


Nadia Gruny, who beat out her team-mate Erica Rendler for the Female Player Representative seat, and as the only female representative on the board to this point, is excited for what the future holds, especially the historically underserved women’s game.


“This is a historic moment for women in cricket administration and I thank everyone for voting. They’ve let their voices be heard and despite who we’ve all voted for, we share common hopes for the future of American cricket. Everyone has a role to play in taking cricket forward and I look forward to working with the stakeholders to take this game to the next level.”


The League Directors seat ended in a tie, with both Atul Rai and Sushil Nadkarni ending up with 12 votes. This election will be rerun starting on Sunday, August 5 with the same 24 eligible League voters taking part. If the rerun election also ends in a tie, a coin toss will decide the winner.


When the full board is seated for the first time in September there will be plenty of intellectual capital and experience at the table with regard to administering local league cricket, and in dealing with the existing cricket community. But to achieve the goals outlined in the Strategic Framework established by USA Cricket a couple of years back, cricket in the United States must grow beyond its traditional base.


The Nominating & Governance Committee, comprised of Amy Perko, Rohan Chandran, Keith Aaron, and David Richardson, are in the process of finalizing their recommendations for the three Independent Directors. The appointment of the independent directors will further ensure that all required skill-sets are covered, and also that there is a greater diversity of backgrounds and gender representation on the board. Ideally the board would not only be representative of the existing cricket community, but also of the cricket community that we hope to become.