USACA on the back-foot, ICC considering expulsion

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The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board has decided that the ICC Full Council should consider the expulsion of USACA from membership of the ICC. A resolution to that effect will now go before the ICC Full Council at its meeting in June for determination by the entire ICC membership.

The decision follows a two year process to seek to unify the cricket community in the USA since USACA’s suspension from membership in 2015 – the third occasion it has been suspended by the ICC over the last 12 years.

According to ICC press release, The Board, which has been kept abreast of developments at each stage of the process, does not believe USACA genuinely exercises authority over the sport in the USA and that it instead, for a variety of reasons, presides over a severely fractured community with only a small number of cricket leagues subscribing to its membership and the vast majority not choosing to join the federation.

The sport has been fractured in the USA for some considerable time and the Board had previously determined that this was unacceptable and needed to be remedied. As such, the ICC made significant efforts to engage with the entire USA cricket community to try to identify what changes would be required to USACA’s governance structure to build a sustainable foundation.

A Sustainable Foundation Advisory Group (SFAG) was created to support these efforts and the conditions of reinstatement imposed on USACA required it to participate in and support this process collaboratively. However, among other breaches of the reinstatement conditions, and despite repeated invitations and opportunities, for a considerable period of time the USACA board (and its nominee) failed to engage at all with the SFAG process.

During its various meetings, the SFAG developed a revised governance model built upon best practice in USA sports governance and the principle of unification to provide a sustainable foundation from which the sport could grow and develop. The ICC Board subsequently considered various versions of this model and, in February, requested USACA to put a final version of a constitution to its membership for approval.

Despite this request, it appears that USACA failed to send its members a copy of the ICC approved constitution and instead presented an alternative version to its membership, which was subsequently adopted at a Special General Meeting on 8 April 2017. The alternative constitution included proposals that the ICC Board had specifically rejected as well as other material changes that had not been approved by the ICC Board. The ICC Board considered that all of those proposals and changes were likely to frustrate a successful unification process.

ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: “The decision to pass this resolution was not taken lightly by the ICC Board. Our focus throughout this two year process has been on the unification of the USA cricket community behind USACA to grow and develop the sport. But it has become clear that this is just not possible and, having invested so much time and resources into helping USACA and with little in the way of cooperation from USACA, the ICC Board now felt that the only remaining option was for the ICC Full Council to consider expulsion of USACA as a member of the ICC.

“USACA’s refusal to engage in the process, to meet a number of fundamental reinstatement conditions, to provide responses to further requests for information and its apparent failure to put the ICC Board-approved constitution before its members without legitimate excuse undermines the all-important objective of uniting the sport.”

The resolution will now be put to the Full Council meeting in June 2017 for determination by the ICC’s membership and USACA will be advised of the process that will be followed between now and then. USACA remains a member of the ICC unless and until that motion is approved at Full Council, but until then USACA’s membership remains suspended.

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