USACA rejects ICC-approved constitution

The USA Cricket Association announced, in a series of tweets, that its members have voted against ratifying an ICC-approved version of a revised constitution at a special general meeting in New York on Saturday. Instead, USACA announced that its members had voted to ratify a different version of a revised constitution that had “minor edits” from the version approved by the ICC.

Among the differences in the two versions were that the ICC version called for an independent chairman of the board for the first three years following the constitutional reforms, with that person not having held any prior administrative role in cricket. In a press release ahead of last weekend’s SGM, USACA said its own version would not have this stipulation and criticised its inclusion in the ICC version as evidence of “complete mistrust for the entire USA cricket community” as well as calling it “patently anti-democratic.”

The ICC version also suggested three individual directors elected under a voting process open to all members nationwide with one league director elected by member leagues. USACA’s proposed constitution would flip that, with three league directors and one individual director. Under the current USACA constitution, only member leagues get a vote in general elections and not individual members.

The ICC-approved constitution vote also called for new elections to take place in September with a new board in place by October 2017, while the USACA constitution guidelines call the next election to take place in February 2018, allowing for the current executive board headed by president Gladstone Dainty to continue their three-year term which began in 2015.

“Whilst much of the alternative constitution proposed by USACA is based on the governance structure proposed by the [Sustainable Foundation Advisory Group] and ICC Board, there are certain key elements missing that are central to the ability of a future USACA being effective at unifying all of the stakeholders of the sport in the USA,” the ICC declared in a statement ahead of the USACA SGM.

“These issues have been made very clear to USACA, and the ICC Board will be considering the outcome of the 8 April SGM as well as the status of USACA’s compliance with all other reinstatement conditions as part of its determination of USACA’s future position as a member of the ICC, and whether to propose a motion to expel, reinstate or otherwise, at its April Board meeting.”

Forty-five member leagues were declared eligible to vote at the SGM in a list announced by USACA two days before the meeting. USACA’s current constitution says that new members must go through a one-year provisional period prior to being eligible to vote on any measures but the list appeared to include as many as ten new members, none of which had been announced in any of USACA’s board meeting minutes that have been publicly released.

The list of new members includes American Cricket Academy & Club, USA Global Cricket Academy, Florida West Coast Winter League, The Friendship League, and World Wide Cricket Academy. Also, two leagues – North Texas Cricket Association and Northern California Cricket Association – were given multiple votes, one each for the standard league competition and a second for a T20 competition. Many other leagues run a 40-over competition and a T20 competition but do not receive separate votes for each.

The list of member leagues noticeably did not include some of the biggest leagues across the country who were previously listed as members of USACA. They include the Cricket League of New Jersey, the Midwest Cricket Conference and the Southern California Cricket Association.

Ratifying a new constitution was one of 39 terms and conditions laid out by the ICC in order for USACA to be reinstated from their current suspension, which has been in effect since June 2015. ICC had warned USACA that failure to ratify the ICC-approved version of the constitution by an April 1 deadline may result in a motion being tabled at an ICC board meeting later this month to vote on USACA being expelled as an Associate Member.

If the motion is tabled and approved, a vote to expel USACA could take place as soon as the ICC Annual Conference in June. It is expected that ICC Americas administrators led by USA project manager Eric Parthen would then continue to run US cricket affairs in a caretaker role until a solution can be reached.

USACA was one of the two original Associate Members – along with Fiji – to become part of the ICC when membership was first expanded beyond Test Members in 1965. However, they have been saddled with administrative difficulties since the turn of the millennium. USACA’s current suspension is their third since 2005.

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