Following the suspension of the United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) by the International Cricket Council (ICC) earlier this summer, the ICC issued a USA Project Operational Report through the office of ICC Americas, outlining the path forward for cricket in the USA.
The report penned by Eric Parthen, ICC Americas’ USA Project Manager highlights the steps the ICC will take to get the administration of cricket in the USA back on track and through the election of a new national governing body. The report is based on four pillars – a sustainable foundation, participation, performance, and fan and market development.
During the process of encouraging USACA to adopt a new constitution, the ICC invited a number of stakeholders to serve on the four advisory groups created last year, representing the diverse cricket community. According to the ICC, the four advisory groups are instrumental in creating a platform for moving cricket along in the USA.
In the report issued late last week, Eric Parthen said, “Our current plan is to get an updated report out about every two weeks to keep the cricket community informed about the latest activities underway to create a new U.S. cricket governing body.”
It is expected that the periodic Operational Report will keep USA cricket stakeholders updated on the strategic input and progress of the four advisory groups, as well as the ICC’s involvement in the highly anticipated election of a new NGB for cricket in the USA.
According to the initial Operational Report, the idea of creating a national federation that can unite the USA cricket community to help grow and develop the sport is of paramount importance and will be reflected in future reports.
The ICC Americas USA Project Operational Report featured the following insights into the four pillars of development identified by the ICC.
• As most people are aware, the United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) was expelled at the June 2017 ICC Annual Conference. This was decided by unanimous votes by both the ICC Board of Directors and the ICC Full Council and it was also heard before an independent arbiter prior to the Annual Conference through the ICC’s Dispute Resolution Process.
• Given the absence of an ICC recognized national federation, ICC Americas’ USA Project staff will work to build a new national federation that can unite the U.S. based cricket community. The Sustainable Foundation Advisory Group (SFAG) will play an advisory role over the coming months during that process. Key dates in that timeline are as follows:
o September/October – Various town hall meetings both in person and via phone/webinar to ensure all U.S. cricket stakeholders are familiar with the constitution of the new national federation, explain the membership categories and benefits and answer any questions about the future direction.
• Early November – Membership opens.
• Early January 2018 – Post list of all individuals/organizations eligible to vote in the election as of December 31, 2017.
• Mid-January 2018 – Election starts for the seven (7) constituent seats of the new Board of Directors.
• Early February 2018 – Constituent directors announced.
• Late-March 2018 – Full Board announced including 3 Independent Directors.
• April 2018 – First Board meeting.
• June 2018 – Seek ICC Board/Full Council recognition as the new National Federation for the United States.
• Q3 2018 – Begin process for seeking United States Olympic Committee recognition.
• The election process detailed above will be governed by the Constitution that was previously created by the SFAG and approved by the ICC Board of Directors. The only changes that will be made to that document are to update the timelines and where necessary to comply with Colorado nonprofit law as the new federation will be incorporated in Colorado instead of New York where USACA was incorporated.
• Thanks to the CPL for bringing four games to Lauderhill, FL. The CPL staff worked cooperatively with USA Project staff on a number of projects around the games that will leave a legacy in growing and developing cricket. One of those efforts was an umpire program that was relevant to a number of these pillars below but also impacted the Sustainable Foundation pillar as they began talking about how the umpires can unify under the new national federation in the future to ensure they are closer aligned to the larger cricket community and better supported by national federation programs. Thanks to all the umpires who attended and proactively contributed to these sessions.
• This pillar continues to be the main focus as it is critical for the long-term success of the new national federation but work in the other pillars will be increasingly visible over the coming months as you can see from the highlights below.
• The CPL matches in Florida served as a great opportunity to get some passionate youth cricket advocates together to start working on the content for a National Entry-Level Kids cricket program. During the Entry-Level Program Seminar, volunteer coaches were able to share their experiences introducing cricket to American kids who are new to our game. We were lucky to also have the support of two Cricket Australia staff members to share some of their skill development activities and games. The seminar culminated in a cricket session for close to 200 kids at a local Boys and Girls Club. Whilst giving those kids a great taste of cricket, we were also able to gather some research findings on what activities, games and coaching methods were most effective in introducing the game to young American kids. These findings will drive the content development of a new National Entry-Level program that will see thousands more kids enjoy cricket in the future.
• In late June, more than 25 passionate coaches gathered in Chicago for a Coach Education Facilitator Course. The Facilitator course was an important opportunity to get USA coaches involved in the process to set up a new coach education structure specifically for U.S. cricket. The course included content around how to introduce new fans and coaches to the game through the development of an online ‘Intro to Coaching’ course, as well as discussing relevant modules and activities to be included in a U.S. Level One Coaching Course. The terrific volunteers from this course are continuing to build out this content with a view to having work complete for delivery of courses in the early part of 2018.
• In addition to the umpire program mentioned above, our senior men’s national team played two training matches against CPL teams, which was a great opportunity for our players to compete against international and first-class players.
• A total of 8 players from the Team USA U19’s that recently competed in Toronto were given the opportunity to be placed with the 4 CPL franchises while in Florida. This placement allowed the U19 players the opportunity to bowl and field at training sessions take part in team meetings and fulfill 12th man duties during the CPL matches. A great opportunity for these young players to rub shoulders with some professional players and get a taste for cricket at the top level.
• Team USA U19’s recently completed their U19 World Cup Qualifier in Toronto. I’m sure many people in the cricket community followed their performances with great interest. The team played some very good cricket throughout the week to finish with 3 wins and 1 loss only to miss qualification for the World Cup on net run rate.
• Speaking of the U19 group’s performance, Team USA Coach, Pubudu Dassanayake, was extremely complimentary of the group’s great work ethic, disciplined bowling unit and excellent fielding throughout the competition. The final game was a tough loss to take but the improvement shown in these players certainly bodes well for the future of USA cricket.
• The Team USA Women departed on Saturday, August 5th and are currently in Essex, United Kingdom preparing for their T20 World Cup Qualifying event starting in Scotland on Monday, August 14th. We wish the ladies and team management all the best in the UK in their bid to get one step closer to the T20 World Cup.
• The CPL umpire program, mentioned above, also impacted the performance pillar as the group discussed ways to create pathways for umpires including new recruitment and progression.
FAN & MARKET DEVELOPMENT
• Thanks to everyone who responded to the survey regarding the new logo. The feedback was very useful to help us initiate the process. Work continues on the logo project and we hope to unveil the new logo within the next 30 days.
• In collaboration with the CPL, we setup an information booth during the weekend’s matches to talk about our future plans, whilst raffling off a number of signed memorabilia. The winners will be announced on ICC Americas social assets in the coming week. Don’t fret, if you were unable to attend the matches there will be additional sweepstakes you can enter once we have our new social media handles up and running.
• Phase one in the development of a world-class database is currently underway. This will play a crucial role in understanding the communities needs and wants as we begin to build a membership base and provide the support and communication you deserve.
• As mentioned a few bullets up, new social media accounts are currently been developed to ensure the U.S. cricket community can remain updated on all activity. Please keep your eye out for these accounts and join, like, share once they go live.
• The planning of a new website is currently underway. Once these objectives are finalized an RFP will be put to market where we encourage suitable companies to submit proposals. Once this is public, feel free to share the RFP with any contacts you may have in the digital world.