Saturday, May 10, 2014

International Cricket Council to Vote Next Month to Suspend USACA; Indy's National Cricket Tournament in Doubt

In an article behind a paywall, Anthony Schoette of the IBJ reports:
Turmoil within the USA Cricket Association could jeopardize the organization’s national championship set for Indianapolis’ new World Sports Park in August, though local officials remain confident the event will happen. 

Jamie Harrison, CEO of American Cricket Foundation
A string of events—including a tax filing showing USACA was $3 million in debt at the end of 2012; the sudden resignation of the organization’s CEO, Darren Beazley, who championed the event here; and a challenge from a rival association—threaten to kill not only the local event, but USACA itself.

The Dubai-based International Cricket Council next month is set to vote whether USACA should be suspended as an affiliate organization. If suspended, USACA would lose out on about $400,000 annually the ICC funnels into the Florida-based organization.

“Without the money from the ICC, I just don’t know how USACA is sustainable,” said Jamie Harrison, CEO of the rival American Cricket Federation.

Under ICC rules, membership is dependent upon a board's proving it is the sole recognized governing body for cricket in the country. More than half of U.S. cricket leagues have spurned USACA and joined ACF. Switzerland’s cricket governing body was suspended from the ICC in 2012 under similar circumstances.

Indianapolis cricket aficionado Jatin Patel said a national cricket championship in Indianapolis “would definitely help the city.” But, he added, “I have no idea where [the USACA national championship event] stands now.”

“The way things are, the event looks impossible,” said Patel, who lobbied Indianapolis mayors Bart Peterson and Greg Ballard in support of the World Sports Park and efforts to bring in a big-time event, but later joined ACF as a board member and national coaching director. “This is not a problem with the World Sports Park. It’s just that city officials are talking to USACA and no one else. They need to get the entire story of what’s happening in this sport.”
In a nutshell, that is the problem.  The article details Indianapolis officials who are imitating ostriches with their heads in the sand, stubbornly refusing to take into account developments that will undoubtedly affect the viability of the USACA-sponsored Indianapolis national tournament in August.  Harrison, CEO of the American Cricket Federation, says that even if the event is held in Indianapolis, it will not be a true national championship due to numerous American cricket leagues leaving USACA and moving to ACF:
“We now have twice as many leagues that belong to our organization as USACA has,” Harrison said. “We represent 10,000 [players] in the U.S. We’re coming together and stepping into the void.”

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