A new national governing body for cricket in the United States is a step closer to fruition with the formal approval of a new constitution for the sport paving the way for historic elections in 2018.
The Sustainable Foundation Advisory Group (SFAG), set up to unify the cricket community in the US, has given the green light to a constitution that will see the election of a new Board, including three independent directors, of which one must be the chairman.
The approval of the constitution, registered under Colorado State Law, provides the process under which the office bearers of the governing body can be elected and operate.
USA Cricket will now focus on finalizing a membership program which will in turn be able to vote on seven of the ten Board members.
The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Americas Project USA team has undertaken a significant community consultation program over the last few months in which the constitution received only minor adjustments to that which the SFAG had originally recommended.
Any such changes are minor and are based either on feedback from the community consultations or as necessitated by Colorado State Law, where USA Cricket is based.
These changes included clarification on the residency requirements to vote or nominate for election; clarification that prospective directors cannot stand for more than one position in a given election process and a strengthening of the requisite percentage of membership from 33 per cent to 67 per cent required to propose a change to the constitution.
Highlights of the new constitution include a new individual membership structure that allows USA Cricket to engage, communicate with and support the entire cricket community directly, including players, coaches, match officials, fans and administrators.
The country will be divided into three Conferences further split into six geographic zones: East, Mid-Atlantic, South, South-West, West and Midwest, with programs and services including unified and structured competitions, high performance camps and coach/umpire education being delivered in each zone.
The new Board composition will be diverse and inclusive and will be representative of the entire cricket community, complying with the requirements of the US Olympic Committee, while establishing a focus on independence.
It will be made up of the following ten directors: two player directors: one female and one male – elected by the international players who have represented the US senior team in the last ten years; three independent directors, at least one of whom must be female, who must be completely independent from any cricket governance or administration for at least the last three years; three individual directors who will be elected by the entire individual membership, one club director, who will be elected by all registered and eligible clubs, one league director who will be elected by all registered and eligible leagues, and an independent chair of the Board.
For the first three years the chair of the Board will be elected by the Board from one of the three independent directors.
This role will play a key part in the unification of the sport and the SFAG felt strongly that independence for the first three years would depoliticize the role and signal a fresh start, the ICC Board unanimously supported this view.
It is proposed this restriction is lifted after three years.
Board Directors will have both term limits and staggered terms to ensure a good mix of fresh perspective and continuity of institutional knowledge.
The governance model includes a Nominating and Governance Committee who will be responsible for vetting all Board candidates and recruiting and recommending the three Independent Directors for appointment by the Board.
There will be an Annual General Meeting where all members of USA Cricket will be invited to participate to both learn about the direction of the organisation and to provide input and feedback to the USA Cricket Board of Directors and staff.
Engagement in the governance of USA Cricket by a wider group of individuals in the cricket community will be undertaken via five additional standing committees including; cricket, leagues, finance and commercial, ethics, grievance and disciplinary and audit, each of which would have a significant level of representation by players.
This follows on from the good progress already made with the launch of the USA Cricket brand and social media channels on September 24 and the website on November 27.
Another important development has been the finalization of a terms of reference for the SFAG which outlines the body’s role in continuing to guide and support the establishment of a new national governing body in the USA that is capable of unifying all of the stakeholders of USA Cricket.
Patricia Whittaker a member, of SFAG, said: “This is a significant step forward in establishing a new national governing body and we are delighted to be in a position to approve a constitution that has the backing of the cricket community.
“It is the result of months of hard work, consultation and a willingness to do the right thing for the sport.”
Jagan Jagannathan, who is also a member of the Advisory Group, said: “This is an excellent constitution that reflects the diversity and strength of the USA cricket community.
“Of course, cricket operates in a dynamic environment and we have built in mechanisms that enable the constitution to evolve with the growth of the game in the USA under the leadership of the future directors and the membership”.
David Richardson, the ICC’s Chief Executive, welcomed the development and thanked the SFAG for their work: “This is an extremely important development and I would like to thank the Advisory Group for their enormous contribution to the development of this Constitution.
“They have led a process that has been incredibly thorough and we think they have developed a best practice Constitution that gives the new national governing body in USA the best possible chance of success.”
By Bill Howell
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.