USAC approves ineligible candidates, while Nadkarni snubbed

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USA Cricket’s Nominating and Governance Committee (NGC) have released their final candidates and voter list for the upcoming 2021 elections, with a voting window slated for February 6 through February 21, 2023. 

Named as the final candidates for League Director are Anj Balusu of Atlanta and Punit Patel of New Jersey. 

Final candidates for Individual Director are Arjun Gona of Dallas, Anuj Patel of Southern California, Bhargav Patel from the DC area, and Rajesh Uppalapati, and Sabu Yunnis from the research triangle area of North Carolina. 

And the sole candidate listed for the Male Player Director position is incumbent Srinivas Salver of Southern California. 

In the same announcement, USA Cricket links to the 2021 Elections Voter Eligibility Criteria for Individual and League Director Positions. Interestingly, the first criteria listed for eligibility for both director positions is that candidates “must have been a member for 1 year or more prior to the election cut-off date,” a requirement not fulfilled by candidates Anj Balusu, Punit Patel and Rajesh Uppalapati according to the Eligible Individual Members list, also provided in the announcement. 

At least one of these candidates has claimed that he is not listed as a current member due to failure to complete a field on the membership application which was not labeled as required. 

Notably excluded from the eligible candidates is Sushil Nadkarni, current board director and chair of the USAC Cricket Committee. Nadkarni authored an email to the NGC and the USA Board protesting several violations of the USA Cricket Constitution. Nadkarni’s disqualification from contesting incumbent Srinivas Salvar for Male Player Director was given as an example in the letter of one of multiple candidates who had been disqualified.

According to Nadkarni’s letter, which listed 21 cosigners, NGC head Vince Adams had disqualified Nadkarni for failing to produce a resume, a requirement which Nadkarni claims should have been fulfilled when he provided a link to his LinkedIn page. Nadkarni, who last played and captained USA Cricket’s men’s team in 2014, has questioned Adams’ constitutional eligibility for the NGC, as Adams currently serves on the USAC Cricketing Committee, which is chaired by Nadkarni.

The inclusion of three candidates who are not currently listed among eligible voting members is the latest in a series of contentious decisions by USA Cricket. Just weeks ago, the NGC’s recommendation of Independent Director Patricia Whittaker caused controversy. The former West Indies test veteran had served USA Cricket as a selector as recently as 2021.

Her appointment as Independent Director is contrary to the constitutional requirement that Independent Directors should not “have held an elected position in, served as an employee, officer, or director of, or held any governance position (whether as an administrator, appointee, or otherwise) in, USA Cricket, the ICC or any national, local or regional governing or administrative body established for cricketing purposes in the United States within three (3) years of the date of applicable election.” 

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