USA Cricket announced key appointments to a range of committees and positions. The list included several mainstream sports administrators, former USA cricketers, and well known names from the cricket community.
By Venu Palaparthi
USA Cricket announced key appointments to a range of committees and positions. The list includes several mainstream sports administrators, a few former USA cricketers, and some well known names from the cricket community.
Many of the board directors find themselves on multiple committees, the unintended consequence of which is over-representation of board members and under-representation of independent voices on some of these committees. Without a doubt, some of the key committees have thoughtful and talented individuals. It is hoped that their insights will be sought and advice valued to a greater degree than advice from the erstwhile ICC Americas Advisory Board ever was.
Notable among the membership of the committees, Atul Rai was appointed as the head of the cricket committee as well as the committee for national team operations. In addition, he sits on the committees for women and girls, and youth and grassroots. Rai thus finds himself in a very prominent role in navigating USA as it commences its journey as an ODI team. Whether by choice or otherwise, the spotlight will be on him. Rai is joined by three of his fellow board members on the cricket committee – Ajith Bhaskar, Nadia Gruny and Venu Pisike. Syed Shahnawaz, a long-time administrator, makes a comeback to the national scene as the fifth member of the committee.
Avinash Gaje and his fellow board member Venu Pisike were named to the powerful finance and commercial committee with the former as the chair. Gaje was also named Treasurer giving him the ultimate oversight role in ensuring commercial success of USA cricket.
Usman Shuja deservedly chairs the high performance and pathways committee, where he is joined by USA cricketers Nadia Gruny and Sushil Nadkarni and board member Ajith Bhaskar. Also in this group are Bobby Basham and Dean Riddle. Riddle is an Applied Sports Scientist with Seattle Seahawks and was a member of the ICC Americas Advisory Group. Basham is a Director of Special Projects with Chicago Cubs. As things stand, this is the most thoughtfully constructed committee. Usman Shuja has also been named to the committee for league growth & development. Atul Rai, Ajith Bhaskar, Basil Butcher, Aditya Mishra and Ritesh Kadu were named to the committee in charge of national team operations. Mishra and Kadu are former USA cricketers whereas Butcher has served the national team in various capacities.
Board members Suraj Viswanathan, Ajith Bhaskar and Rohan Sajdeh, a senior partner at Boston Consulting Group, were named to the negotiation committee. Strategy committee has Ajith Bhaskar, Catherine Carlson and Usman Shuja as members with Bhaskar as chair.
Venu Pisike (chair), Sameer Bandekar, Ajith Bhaskar, Raghu Barooda, Bandula Hettiarachchi, Jatin Patel and Vijaya Mallela were named to the coaching and umpiring committee. Coach Barooda is a widely respected coach and Mallela is a well known umpire. Patel has been single-handedly turned out hundreds of community coaches throught the ACF certification process.
Women and girls committee is led by Nadia Gruny and features Mark Carr, Sham Chotoo, Atul Rai and Patricia Whittaker. Chotoo is the leader of the extremely successful Maryland schools program. Venu Pisike, Rohaan Gosala, Biju Nair, Atul Rai and Brian Walters were named to the youth and grassroots committee. While these gentlemen definitely have experience with youth cricket, several other prominent youth cricket leaders are conspicuous by their absence from this list.
Catherine Carlson was appointed the chair of the one-person audit committee. Carlson is Senior Vice President Corporate Partnerships and Premium Activation, Orlando Magic, and a member of the USA Cricket board.
USA Cricket also announced that Suraj Viswanathan would assume the position of Secretary of USA Cricket. As noted previously, Avinash Gaje was named Treasurer.