By Sam Sooppersaud
With the holidays now past and the winter season dwindling down, the eyes of cricket lovers are trained on the 2010 cricket season. It has been nearly five months since cricketers and cricket spectators have been to the cricket parks around the New York area. They are all now bursting with anxiety and anticipation of the start of another season of their summer sport. Administrators of the various cricket leagues are also looking forward to the 2010 cricket season.

The leagues have been holding meetings and making all the other necessary preparations for, as they hope, another successful few months of cricket. The 2009 season gave endless enjoyment and fulfillment to nearly all who are connected to the sport. It is with this feeling of excitement that the “boys of summer” and their followers are anticipating the coming cricket season.

The Eastern American Cricket Association was one of the leagues that called its Annual General Meeting in preparation for 2010. This was done on Sunday, January 31st, at the Naresa Palace on Rockaway Boulevard in Richmond Hill, New York.

Eleven clubs out of the fourteen member-clubs were represented at the AGM. The gathering discussed the 2009 season, carefully analyzing the things that went wrong and the things that should have been done; in general some shortcomings. Among those were complaints from a few clubs that the league’s administration showed a bias against certain clubs. Notably, a club complained that on one particular Sunday it rained continuously from daybreak, resulting in the president calling off six matches.

However, one of the scheduled matches was not called off. The complaint was that by not calling off that match the president favored one club who would gain some ground on another club, which was leading the favored club by one point, at the time. Another complaint was that it took the league nearly five months to address a protest filed by one of its affiliate clubs. Again, the allegation of favoritism was suggested.

After tying up the league’s 2009 business, the officers vacated their posts and elections for the 2010 slate of officers were held. The Secretary of the United States of America Cricket Association, Mr. John Aaron, served as the Returning Officer. I must say that he conducted the balloting in a very efficient and democratic manner. President Rudy Persaud was reelected to his position as head of the organization, beating out a challenge from his 2009 VP Colin Sandy. This would be Mr. Persaud’s third stint in that capacity. Bayshore Tigers’ Qasim Butt was elected Vice President, over runner-up Colin Sandy. Richmond Hill’s Sunesh Wazid was reelected Secretary unopposed. The Treasurer’s post was filled by Victory Cricket Club’s Sumit Rajpaul unopposed. Everest/ACS’ Zamin Amin was elected Assistant Secretary/Treasurer over Hillside’s Zaman Juman. It was very noticeable that during the elections some politicking was going on. The election, however, was a fair one.

The new slate of officers was installed in to their posts by the Returning Officer. Before relinquishing his chair Mr. Aaron cautioned the new officers about the burden of responsibility resting on their shoulders. “You came from five different clubs,” Aaron warned, “but now you do not represent your club, you represent all the clubs.” Krish Prasad, the Region’s representative on the USACA board of directors, thanked all the officers for their willingness to serve, and for the sacrifice that they will be asked to make. He reassured all that he is convinced, “…the EACA is the best league in the New York metropolitan area, despite what bad things some people may be writing about us.”

The newly installed officers took turns in addressing the gathering, and here are some quotes – VP Butt, “Thank you, to all who supported me. There is a lot to do and I will try to do my best to deliver what is expected.” Secretary Wazid, “Thank you for your faith in me.” Treasurer Rajpaul, “I hope that I am able to meet your expectations.” Asst. Secretary/Treasurer Zamin Amin, “Thank you for electing me. It was not my desire to hold any position, but for the betterment of cricket, I will serve.” President Rudy Persaud admitted that some mistakes were made by the previous administration, and as president he accepts the blame. He promised to rectify those issues and to be more forthright in his governance, adding “For this league to move forward, I need the help of all. Don’t remain in the background and complain. Get involved and let us work together.”

I sat through the entire meeting and made a few observations, including how the delegates were very vocal in making their dissatisfaction known over the administration’s failure to present a financial statement, among other issues alluded to in this report.

Colin Sandy as the 2009 Vice President, was given an excellent “passing grade” for his work in and with the last administration, unfortunately, as previously stated, he was not returned to his post. With the exception of the Secretary and Treasurer, the other officers were elected by a 6-5 vote over their opponents. Strange? Were there two factions at the meeting?

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