A new USA Cricket Association (USACA) website that went live this week has caused more controversy and disagreement within the board of directors as three members do not feature on the website. The USACA website had been down since September 6 but an "interim" site came up online this week while a new site is being built, according to USACA vice-president Rafey Syed.
Missing from the executive board listings on the site are the executive secretary John Aaron, who is disputing his recent suspension by president Gladstone Dainty as being unconstitutional, as well as North East representative Tony Gilkes and Central East representative Golam Sayeed. Instead of Sayeed, Akhtar Masood "Chik" Syed is listed as the Central East representative.
"Why am I not surprised? This is painful," Sayeed told ESPNcricinfo. "Central East Regional board has gone through our process of elections and removing Masood Chik because of his poor leadership and mismanagement. I am the constitutional-process elected regional representative and if I'm not pictured in the website then it's terribly wrong."
Masood ran afoul of his regional administration after he allegedly subverted the selection process by submitting a 14-man squad to represent the Central East at June's USACA Twenty20 National Tournament without consulting the other members of the regional administration including its selection panel. The regional administration then selected its own 14-man team for the tournament and moved to recall Syed from his position on the national board.
"It was done constitutionally," Sayeed said. "We had followed all the steps. The regional board decided that he should not be our regional representative to the board of directors. I don't know why USACA is still calling him the regional representative. It doesn't make sense." Sayeed works in Minnesota for Moneygram, one of the ICC's main corporate sponsors, and the fact that the USACA website doesn't recognise him as part of its board has created an awkward situation.
"My company is saying, 'We're not only sponsoring ICC, one of our employees is now a current [USACA] board member.' That message went out to the ICC and the USACA website doesn't have my picture or my name? I don't know what to say." Sayeed sent Rafey Syed an email on Thursday afternoon, asking that the website be "corrected immediately."
However, Rafey Syed contended that Masood is still on the USACA board. "According to the email that Mr. Gladstone Dainty sent out, none of the regional elections which occurred and which will be occurring later on without the completion of the compliance process are null and void," Rafey said. "There are a couple of leagues that were involved in [Central East's] selection who never had any tournaments and they are basically bogus leagues."
When asked why the names of Ajay Athavale, Mark Sood and Krish Prasad are listed on the USACA web site as being regional representatives when their regional elections also took place this year like the Central East, Rafey said these representatives are legally holding positions because "these people were there before even the compliance process started." This contradicts the Dainty order to make null and void all regional elections until the compliance review is complete.
As for Gilkes, Rafey said he was suspended earlier in the summer because the North East didn't have the minimum three leagues to constitute a region, something Gilkes flatly denies. "I'm one of [Dainty's] fierce critics on the board so he doesn't want me or the North East to have a voice," Gilkes said. "The Massachusetts League was two days late for paying their yearly dues. [USACA] took the cheque and they deposited it. They cashed the cheque. I spoke to an attorney about it. He said they can't suspend the Massachusetts League. If they had put on it, 'We are depositing the check in protest,' then the Massachusetts League would have a problem. The minute they cashed the check and they didn't put, 'In protest,' he says they can't suspend anybody."
Dainty sent an email to Gilkes on June 10, stating he only received payment from four teams in the Massachusetts League instead of the minimum eight to constitute an official league.
The USACA board has not had a teleconference meeting since April and has not had a face-to-face board meeting since November 2010. Several attempts have been made to organise a meeting, but at least two scheduled in-person meetings were cancelled at the last minute while other attempts to organise a sit-down have failed to reach an agreement for the minimum number of board members to constitute a meeting. There is talk that a meeting may be scheduled for October 15th, the date that the USACA elections were due to be held. The elections have no chance of taking place by that date and as a result USACA is treading into dangerous territory.
"If the election is not held by November 30, I think we may be suspended by the ICC," Gilkes said.