April 23, 2011

USACA's NWR and SWR 2011 Elections Conclude

As of the end of May 2011, the regional reps of NWR and SWR at USACA have been elected.  SWR elected Mark Sood unanimously after Nina Ahmed withdrew for undisclosed reasons.  NWR already had a couple of nominees in addition to Ram Vardarajaan who also suddenly withdrew.  A third nominee, Ajay Athawale, who was unusually added at the last moment and well past the original deadline, presumably with USACA's consent, ended up getting elected.  Mark Sood for those familiar with SoCal cricket has long been associated in various official capacities with the Southern California Cricket Association league, easily the largest league in the region.  Ajay Athawale, who is lesser known in NoCal cricketing circles, is the President of the California Cricket Academy which focuses exclusively on youth cricket in the region.

Interestingly, Ram Vardarajan and Nina Ahmed's husband, Asif Ahmed, became part of the newly formed Cricket Holdings America, the for-profit organization for US cricket.  USACA President Gladstone Dainty and Treasurer John Thickett are the other members of CHA.  

As of May 3, 2011, the news is that while the new regional administrations for NWR and SWR have been announced, the leading SWR and NWR representative nominees to USACA have both withdrawn for undisclosed reasons.   The remaining NWR's representative nominee is from a league (CCL) that was, at one point earlier this year, declared ineligible by USACA itself only to be subsequently declared eligible under odd circumstances. 

As of May 2, 2011, the results have apparently been ratified by the USACA BoD and will be announced anytime now.  

As of April 27, 2011, results of the NWR and SWR elections have still not been announced by USACA even though the elections were supposedly completed by April 19th.  Perhaps it takes a while to count the votes from the handful of leagues in each region!   Or perhaps the results are such that USACA is in no hurry to announce them.  Who knows!

The elections were not without drama.  CCL from NWR and GLACA from SWR were declared as ineligible as they had not met the criteria for a voting league per USACA's John Aaron.  This was followed by an online exchange between Mr. Aaron and the CCL and NWR leadership on a New York cricketing website.  Eventually and mysteriously, the ban was lifted and these leagues were allowed to vote.  There were also irregularities in the nomination process with at least one candidate being denied a nomination despite claiming to meet all requirements. 

National elections are set for October although ex-first VP, Nabeel Ahmed, is on record claiming that this is too late per the constitution and he appears to have a point.   It will be not be a quiet summer, especially off the field, with lots of maneuvering and alignment expected with assorted "quid pro quos" which will manifest in the next three years depending on who gets elected. 

The best thing that US cricket can use at this stage is an independent election service to certify that the voting leagues are indeed eligible per the constitution and then conduct the elections to ensure that there are no irregularities.  The fees they may charge would be well worth the sense of fairness we can get in return.  When was the last time we felt elections relating to USACA were "fair?"

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