American cricket is a step closer to having a firmer foothold on its administrative future after a final constitution was approved for USA Cricket, the new governing body that is taking over in the wake of USACA’s expulsion at this year’s ICC annual conference.
“This is an extremely important development and I would like to thank the Advisory Group for their enormous contribution to the development of this Constitution,” ICC chief executive David Richardson said in a press release. “They have led a process that has been incredibly thorough and we think they have developed a best practice Constitution that gives the new national governing body in USA the best possible chance of success.”
The framework for the constitution was cleared not long after USACA was expelled, and contains many of the guidelines which were rejected by USACA that became the final straw before the ICC voted them out in June as the board representing the USA as an Associate Member. Among them are term limits for board members, three independent directors, athlete representatives on the board and an independent chairman. Any proposal to make changes to the constitution will require a two-thirds majority from the wider membership.
One new guideline not previously revealed by the ICC’s sustainable foundation advisory group is that the same person cannot run for multiple positions on the board. The scenario played out on numerous occasions at USACA elections, including one instance in which Kenwyn Williams ran for president, vice president and executive secretary. Williams eventually won a spot as executive secretary in 2012 but lasted less than a year in the role.
According to the constitution, voting eligibility has fairly liberal guidelines taking into the consideration the fact that a sizeable portion of the cricket-playing community are non-citizens. Voting in elections is open to anyone who is a US citizen, permanent resident or a lawful resident. However, board members must be either US citizens or permanent residents, also known as green card holders.
“This is an excellent constitution that reflects the diversity and strength of the USA cricket community,” said Jagan Jagannathan, a member of the sustainable foundation advisory group who has also served as the board chairman of the American Cricket Federation, the rival governing body to USACA. “Of course, cricket operates in a dynamic environment and we have built in mechanisms that enable the constitution to evolve with the growth of the game in the USA under the leadership of the future directors and the membership”.
The election process for USA Cricket’s inaugural board is expected to begin in January, with the board seated by April.