American Cricket Federation
The reply of Jamie Harrison, CEO of the American Cricket Federation, to the anonymous letter writer, (link to the letter), published under the auspices of the Zolon Challengers Cricket Club:
Thank you for your interest in the important work of the American Cricket Federation. For too long, the member clubs of the Washington Cricket League have been separated from the fast-developing future of the game in the United States, and I am glad that you have publicly acknowledged the role ACF plays in our great sport.
I also appreciate the anguish you must feel from the dissolution of USACA, and I feel saddened by the bitterness that permeates your letter. Trust me: Better days are ahead, and one day soon we will all be together again. I only hope that you may soon be able to put your emotions behind you and embrace the good that is to come.
However sympathetic I may feel toward you personally, I still feel obliged to correct a few errors you make in your letter to me, some amusing, some bizarre.
First, a humorous note. You say, “USACA has its strengths and weaknesses.” Well, USACA’s weaknesses are legendary and numerous – but I don’t know if anything intrinsic in the USACA organization that anyone (of sound mind) has ever called a strength.
Next, you say, “ACF claimed to be the official governing body of cricket in the USA.” This is untrue. ACF claims to be “a governing body” for cricket in the United States, which it obviously is. We do not claim “official governing body” status, because we do not believe that such a designation rightfully exists, as we reject the authority of foreign bodies to assert control over Americans in any fashion; even on the cricket ground. Americans will decide their own destiny.
You then go on to say, “Recently, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced USACA to be their recognized member, thereby shattering the hopes of ACF.” This is a misrepresentation of the facts. While the ICC, in June, asserted that USACA (for now) is its member in the United States, this was known, and not challenged, by ACF. As we never claimed to be an ICC member, this restatement of an undisputed fact could not “shatter” us. In fact, we find it amusing that the ICC thinks it necessary to remind people who their member body is in America, such is their low status.
Further, the ICC has placed USACA in a three year cycle for sanctioning because of its ongoing violation of Associate rule 3.1, which states that a member must demonstrate that it is the sole governing body for cricket in its nation. By placing USACA on notice of impending suspension last June, the ICC acknowledged the existence of an additional governing body in the United States, namely the American Cricket Federation.
If ACF and USACA both continue to exist in June 2015, USACA will be suspended by the ICC. If both exist in June 2016, USACA will be permanently removed from membership. Don’t believe me? Read this from “big three” ICC member Cricket Australia. (And please note the use of the phrase “USACA will be suspended,” not “USACA could be suspended,” or “USACA might be suspended.” It’s a done deal.)
Now, on to your mischaracterization of my relationship with UMBC cricket.
First, you must understand that I work in the Information Technology department at UMBC. I do not teach, I do not work in the Physical Education department, and I do not work with club sports, of which UMBC cricket is one of many.
A few years ago, when UMBC won the American College Cricket championship in Florida, I worked to get the university to recognize their achievement, which ultimately, after many phone calls and emails, it did. I also assisted when the team’s gear was stolen at the ACC tournament, and I have intervened when members of the community have complained about cricketers monopolizing tennis courts at a nearby school.
I did all of this out of simple love of the game and a desire to see cricket promoted on campus. I just wanted to help.
Soon, I became identified as an advocate for cricket, and the folks who work with club sports added me to the list of club sport “advisors.” This is an unpaid, meaningless title, but it makes me one of the contacts if there’s a problem with the team that needs to be addressed. I have no issue with this, and I am glad to help where I can.
Regarding the team not having a dedicated on-campus practice field, I have had many conversations with the school, and they insist that there is no appropriate place on our small campus for a cricket ground. I will continue to work on this, but I have no illusions about the prospects.
(You must also understand that cricket is a comparatively small-time club sport at UMBC, being dwarfed by the participation numbers of most other clubs. It also doesn’t help that those players who are actually still students have made little effort to connect cricket with the larger campus population. The team generally keeps to itself, which hurts it when it comes time to ask for school support.)
Having said all this, why you think that I would be able to, by myself, magically provide the cricket team with scare campus real estate for its practice field is beyond my understanding. Perhaps you attribute to me powers that I simply do not possess, based on the astounding success you see with ACF. Please believe me when I tell you that I do not act alone at ACF; dozens of hard-working volunteers work tirelessly to make the ACF magic happen.
Lastly, please know that I’m fine with you hiding in the shadows and lashing out at me, without the slightest merit, if that makes you feel better about USACA. I can take it. But the next time, for Pete’s sake, do a little fact-checking, if not for yourself, then for the sake of people like the Zolon Challengers Cricket Club, who were gullible enough to publish it.