21 cosigners include current USA League Director Sushil Nadkarni, former directors Ajith Bhaskar, Suraj Viswanathan, and Usman Shuja, and former Cricket Committee and sustainable foundation member Syed Shahnawaz.
An email has been sent to the USA Cricket board, the USA Cricket Nominating and Governance Committee (NGC), and the ICC with 21 cosigners, including league presidents, administrators, current and former USA Cricket board members, and leaders from around the USA, including current USA Cricket League Director and head of USAC’s Cricketing Committee, Sushil Nadkarni. The email protests seven instances of USAC constitution violations ahead of the upcoming board elections and threatens legal action should these issues not be resolved.
Below is the email in its entirety:
Dear NGC, USA Board, ICC representatives,
Please find below a listing of several direct and unequivocal violations of the USAC constitution. These violations were carried out at the behest of certain USAC directors and the Nomination and Governance Committee (NGC) with a view to disenfranchising legitimate voters and candidates, and improperly directing the course of the upcoming USAC Board Director elections. We request USAC to engage with us and correct its course, else we will be compelled to take legal action.
1. The USAC Board appointed Mr. Vince Adams to the NGC in violation of the USAC Constitution, Section 9.5(A). Mr. Adams functioned and continues to function as an officer / consultant of USAC via his role on the USAC Cricket Committee.
2. The USAC Board neglected to appoint a nominee of the USOC in the NGC in violation of the USAC Constitution, Section 9.5(A). It must be noted that USAC has announced its membership in the USOC Associate Board, clearly establishing that USAC has a relationship with USOC but has not permitted USOC to appoint its nominee in the NGC.
3. The USAC Board appointed Mr. Nisarg Patel, who is a salaried employee of USAC and a contracted player, to the NGC in violation of the USAC Constitution, Section 9.5(A). Mr. Patel is an employee of USAC on that position rightfully belonged to the USOC nominee. By voting on various matters, Mr. Patel caused the USA Constitution Section 9.5(B) to be violated. Furthermore, Mr. Patel is a player voting member and is making decisions on applications to the Player Director position and thereby in direct conflict in such important matters.
4. The NGC, led by Mr. Vince Adams, recommended Ms. Patricia Whitaker for USAC Independent Director and asked for approval by the USAC Board which was subsequently granted. Mr. Adams has self-declared to several members of USAC that she is a good friend of his. The NGC did so in direct violation of the USA Constitution, Section 7.5(B)(c)(d). Ms. Whitaker served as a selector for USAC until 2021, and hence held a governance position in USAC in the last 3 years. At the same time, the NGC formally rejected other candidates for the independent director role broadly citing Section 7.5(B)(d) even when they had been involved in very ancillary cricket governance roles in the USA.
5. The NGC has seen fit to disqualify several applicants for the post of Independent Director, League Director, Player Director and Individual Director by not providing a reason, or on flimsy grounds. While a properly appointed NGC may have the latitude to make unilateral decisions, the reasoning provided has been clearly meant to subvert the constitutional rights of the applicants and violate the principles of sound governance. The previous NGC Chair, Mr. Jagan Jaganathan, has stated in the past the NGC has never disqualified candidates for not providing a resume. In fact they tried to work with the applicant to provide any missing information in a reasonable timeframe. This action has no precedent at all. At last count, the NGC has rejected candidates who are or have been League Presidents, Board Directors, Authors of the USAC Constitution, Former Captains of the USA National Team, CEO’s of public organizations etc. As an example, the NGC, through Mr. Vince Adams, rejected the application of Mr. Sushil Nadkarni to contest as Player Director. Mr. Nadkarni is a current USAC board member since 2020, a former decorated captain of the USA National side, and chair of the USAC Cricket Committee under who Mr. Adams serves. The reason provided was that Mr. Nadkarni had neglected to attach his resume with his application. While this reason is itself inadequate and does not allow for such a rejection, it was also utterly farcical as Mr. Nadkarni had provided a link to his LinkedIn profile in the application. The entire world uses LinkedIn as a legitimate mode of sharing resumes, but Mr. Adams decided that this was not a viable means to provide a resume to the NGC.
6. USAC, via its representative Mr. Dhruv Barot, rendered ineligible several leagues for failing to meet unspecified criteria not called out in the constitution. As an example, members were disqualified because they did not provide a date of birth, even though they have been fully paid-up members for over 2 years, and such data was marked “optional” at the time of registration collection. Leagues were disqualified because some of their members transitioned from minors to adults at time of renewal and USAC membership manager simply removed them from the membership for lack of data provided. Further, there was no communication to these members to provide any missing information at any time over the last 2 years. This is in violation of the members constitutional and membership rights, natural justice or good governance practices. The USA Board or Management was not consulted in this process.
7. USAC, via its representative Mr. Dhruv Barot, has rendered ineligible several International Players who have represented the USA National Team in the past decade, and improperly classified them as Individual members, thus disenfranchising them of their right to vote for the USAC Player Director in the upcoming election.
In most of the above matters, the USAC Board has been in the dark on the processes being followed. The Interim Chair of USAC had taken on the responsibility for guiding these matters.
Points 1-4 above have already been brought to the attention of the USAC Board by Jagan Jagannathan, former chair of the NGC via emails. The USAC Board has neglected to respond to those communications which has contributed to the situation we face today.
This letter is signed by leaders of leagues that are currently recognized as valid members of USAC, who in turn represent a significant portion of the membership of USAC. We would have tried to reach out and contact the rest, but the urgency of resolving these matters has prompted us to send this in haste. We trust that some of well meaning directors of USAC will take prompt actions to protect their reputations and the good name of USAC, and that they will not let this proceed down a legal route which will only lead to cost that USAC could be better spent on cricketing activities. We desire free and fair elections in order for eligible leagues, players and individual members to cast their votes for candidates that are properly nominated and not eliminated behind the scenes by an improperly constituted and directed NGC.
To this end, we would require that the NGC be formulated with strict adherence to the USAC Constitution, and subsequently perform a review and roll back any past improper actions. This needs to be done before the upcoming elections, failing to do this will result in legal action.
Mr Ajith Bhaskar, Commonwealth Cricket League. Former USAC Board Member.
Mr Prasad Nasika, President, Millennium Cricket League
Mr Phani Chintaneni, President, Redmond Cricket Conference
Mr Prem Suri, President, North American Cricket League
Mr Sushil Nadkarni, Former USA Captain and current USAC Board Member
Mrs. Pranoti Nadkarni, League Admin, South Texas Youth Cricket League
Mr Ajay Jhamb, President, ACAC
Mr Harish Ponnapureddy, President, MCL
Mr Anurag Gupta, President, Minor Cricket League
Mr Babar Baig, President, Triangle Cricket League
Mr Susheel Bhat, President, Michigan Cricket Association
Mr James Joseph, President, Kerala Cricket League
Mr Ajith Bhaskar, NY Tennis Cricket League
Mr Mohammad Islam, President, NY Bangladeshi Cricket League
Mr Venu Palaparthi, President, DreamCricket League
Mr Baskar Innasi, Secretary, Cricket Atlanta
Mr Jagan Nemani, President, Seattle Youth Cricket League
Mr Usman Shuja, Former USA Captain and USAC Board Member
Mr Syed Shahnawaz, former member of USAC Cricket Committee, former member of the sustainable foundation that authored the USAC Constitution, Former Executive North Texas Cricket Association
Mr Mangesh Chaudhari, Head PVCC, Designated High Performance Center for the USA National Teams
Mr Anand Patel, President, Washington Cricket League
Mr. Suraj Vishwanathan, President, BACA
Over the last few days, Emerging Cricket has reviewed individual emails to USA Cricket’s board and NGC from current USA Cricket board members, league presidents, and emails sent by former NGC Chair Jagan Jagannathan, which are referenced in the letter above.
In Jagannathan’s emails, several of these points are brought up. Regarding the unconstitutionality of the selection of Patricia Whittaker as an Independent Director, Jagannathan remarks “It goes without saying that a number of potential candidates did not apply simply because they felt they did not meet that specific criteria. I consider this a very serious matter as should USAC.”
Emerging Cricket also reached out to USA Cricket Chairman Atul Rai and CEO Vinay Bhimjiani on Friday, January 13 requesting comment on many of these issues. As of the publishing of this article, USA Cricket has not yet replied.
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