USA news May 3, 2017

USACA hints at taking legal action against ICC

Peter Della Penna

The future of USA cricket remains uncertain © Peter Della Penna

The USA Cricket Association issued a defiant statement late on Tuesday, saying that the organisation 'intends to vigorously defend its rights' in the face of possible expulsion from the ICC. It is a strong hint that USACA is prepared to engage in a legal battle with the game's global governing body after the ICC announced on Monday that a resolution to expel USACA as an Associate Member will be put before the ICC board at the annual conference in June.

'USACA is saddened and disappointed at the ICC Executive Board decision to recommend that the ICC membership expel USACA from the ICC,' the USACA statement said. 'This decision is manifestly unfair, prejudicial, unlawful, and unreasonable.'

In the three-page statement put out by USACA, they also claim that the ICC's mandate for USACA to accept an ICC-approved constitution, which includes appointing an ICC-approved independent chairperson to lead the board of directors, laid out as one of 39 terms and conditions in order to achieve reinstatement from their current suspension - in effect since June 2015 - is an 'anti-democratic straightjacket [sic]'.

'The ICC does not want a strong and unified, democratically governed, US cricket community,' the USACA release said. 'It wants one that the ICC will control and dominate.'

The USACA statement repeatedly refers to its own approach to formulating a constitution that was approved by members at an April 8 Special General Meeting in New York as 'democratic' while railing against certain aspects of the ICC-approved constitution which USACA's 45 voting leagues rejected at the same meeting.

USACA's statement is also noteworthy for claiming they have 'worked diligently and cooperatively with the ICC to achieve reinstatement by satisfying the reinstatement conditions set forth by the ICC.' That stance directly contradicts the ICC's statement put out on Monday in which they stated that the resolution for expulsion came as a result of a two-year process in which they have attempted to include members of USACA on ICC advisory groups tasked with trying to unify a fractured cricket community.

'It has become clear that this is just not possible and, having invested so much time and resources into helping USACA and with little in the way of cooperation from USACA, the ICC Board now felt that the only remaining option was for the ICC Full Council to consider expulsion of USACA as a member of the ICC,' the ICC statement said on Monday.

USACA also states that their constitution will 'unify the US cricket community', though their current self-reported membership of 45 leagues places them in a minority position with approximately 150 leagues in operation nationwide.

Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna