Cricket bosses on verge of suspending US
The International Cricket Council is on the verge of suspending the United States of America Cricket Association from the international game.
In a strongly-worded 19 page letter sent on January 28th to Gladstone Dainty, the Usaca president, and signed by Narayanaswami Srinivasan, the ICC chairman, the governing body sets out its reasons for taking the drastic action.
Giving Usaca until today to respond, the ICC lists a host of concerns it has about the Association, both financial and administrative, including whether Usaca used a $200,000 loan from the ICC for its agreed purpose. With $168,000 of the loan outstanding, and Usaca some $4million in debt, the ICC points out that if it exercised its right to call in the loan, the Association would be unable to repay the amount and would be in breach of its obligations to the ICC as a member.
Bermuda are due to play the US in the ICC Americas Division One tournament in Indianapolis in May, alongside Canada and Suriname, where the top two will earn a spot at the World Twenty20 Qualifiers in Ireland in July. The potential suspension of the US could make Bermuda’s chances of qualifying that much better.
The governing body cites Article 2.7 of its constitution which gives the ICC’s Executive Board the ability “upon written notice, to suspend a member with immediate effect” if it fails to comply with any of those obligations.
“By way of this letter, I am writing to provide Usaca with notice that, for the reasons set out herein, the Board is considering exercising its power under Article 2.7 unless Usaca is able to satisfactorily resolve the concerns that the Board has within the timeframes set out in this letter,” Srinivasan writes.
The earliest that suspension could take place would be in April, when the ICC Cricket Development Committee is due to meet.
In all, the ICC sets out four areas in which it believes Usaca has failed to live up to its responsibility as a member, and lists in great detail the information that the Association is expected to provide in its defence. These include: detailed bank statements, account numbers and full financial records; information on the nature of the relationship between Usaca and Cricket Holdings America LLC; asks Usaca to list how it will improve the standard of its national team; and to demonstrate that it is the sole governing body of the game in the US.
“As you are aware, the Board has had concerns over the organisation and development of cricket in the USA for a number of years, and the role Usaca has played in the apparent lack of progress of the game in the USA. Despite attempts made by the ICC and certain of its members to assist Usaca in addressing these concerns, it appears no real improvement has been made,” Srinivasan writes.
“As such, and in the best interests of cricket and as part of the ICC’s strategy to develop the game around the world, the Board feels compelled to consider suspending Usaca from membership of the ICC unless Usaca can adequately satisfy it of the concerns set out.”
The ICC begins addressing those concerns by focusing on the loan it made in June 2013 which it says was provided on the basis that “it only be applied in relation to Usaca administrative purposes.” The ICC expresses concern that instead the money was used for legal fees and to pay for professional advisors.
Officials have privately expressed the belief that much of the money was used to pay Robin Singh, the US coach, while the legal fees relate to Usaca’s relationship to Cricket Holdings America LLC, the company that grew out of Usaca’s bid to develop a professional Twenty20 league in the US.
“The ICC is, and always has been, concerned about Usaca’s relationship with CHALLC. In particular, the ICC is concerned that Usaca has licensed the rights to international and domestic T20 cricket within its jurisdiction to a third party company with private ownership interests,” the letter states.
The ICC’s concerns are not limited to the financial, they express reservations over the legitimacy of the Usaca board, and question whether they have the right to be called the sole governing body in the US pointing out that: “The US cricket community remains highly fractured, with a significant proportion of cricketers and teams not being aligned to Usaca, and many being aligned to the rival American Cricket Federation.”
America’s failings on the field are also highlighted, with the ICC pointing out that rather improving the men’s team, Usaca has been responsible for a decline in the game that leaves them “sitting in World Cricket League Division 4.”
The letter ends with the ICC expressing the opinion that Usaca “may have acted contrary to the best interests of cricket and contrary to the best interests of the ICC.”
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