American Cricket Federation – Mid-Year Report, June 2014
June 24, 2014 Share

American Cricket Federation – Mid-Year Report, June 2014

The American Cricket Federation (ACF) has made significant progress on a number of fronts in the first half of 2014 that reflects its vision of being a national, inclusive and transparent organization to serve American cricketers anywhere in America.  These goals are encoded in its Constitution that includes term limits, women’s and youth representation, club and player representation, softball cricket representation, an independent director, and independently supervised elections.

Leadership

2014 started with a freshly elected Board and Advisory and Judiciary Committee (AJ&C) after the fair, transparent and constitutionally mandated elections held as schedule on December 7, 2013.   The board elected Jagan Jagannathan as its Chairperson, Avinash Varma as its Vice-Chairperson, John Aaron as its Secretary, Mike Thomas as its Treasurer, and Jatin Patel as the convener of the AJ&C.  Patrick Klinger, a veteran baseball marketing executive, joined as the Board’s Independent Director in March 2014. Jamie Harrison serves as its Chief Executive Officer having started in that role in September of 2013.

Honorary Advisory Board (HAB)

In January this year, ACF announced the creation of its Honorary Advisory Board (HAB). The board is comprised of cricket luminaries such as Michael Holding, Ian Chappell, Alvin Kallicharran, Damien Martyn, Nathan Bracken, Stuart MacGill, Niall O’Brien, Clive Lloyd and Shaun Pollock.

The addition of such cricket luminaries representing the diverse cultural and ethnic characteristics of the cricketing community-at-large is reflective of the composition of the governing body of ACF, and its inclusive ethos.

Other members of the HAB include Dr. Vincent Adams and Stephen Rooke. Dr. Adams was twice honored by the White House for his service to the nation, and has served our country at the highest levels of government. Dr. Adams is a former first-class cricketer.

Stephen Rooke is a lawyer who is familiar to many at ACF, and was instrumental in the construction of the ACF constitution in 2012. A graduate of Rice University and the University of Michigan Law School, Mr. Rooke also holds a Master of Laws degree in Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Significant Membership Growth and Member Services

In 2013, the ACF established its credentials as a governing body for U.S.A. cricket, with 12 League Members, 16 Club Members and 81 Individual Player Members. It is gratifying to see the movement continue its momentum in 2014, where already, ACF has recorded 21 League members, 23 Club Members, and 119 Individual Members, all wanting change in the management of their cricket in the U.S.A. With the establishment of a competitive and discounted insurance service for leagues and clubs at varying levels of coverage, ACF added value by giving a variety of insurance coverage packages for leagues and clubs to choose.

In November 2013, ACF through one of its member leagues; the Washington Metro Cricket Board organized and conducted a very successful one day coaching clinic for men and women cricketers.  Legendary West Indies Test cricketers and members of the ACF Honorary Advisory Board, Michael Holding and Alvin Kallicharran, led the sessions in Maryland.

Resuming the Oldest Rivalry in Cricket — North American Cricket Championship

Also in 2013, the ACF heralded the initiative that the winners of its League play-off Championship would play a top Canadian League team for the North American Cricket Championship. In the second consecutive year of ACF League play-off championships, the Mid-West Cricket League, as 2013 Champions, duly lined up with Canada’s best in the Toronto Cricket, Curling and Skating Club in Arizona in February 2014. On a beautiful grass square maintained and hosted by Arizona Cricket Club, Toronto emerged victorious and vowing to return to meet USA’s best in 2015.

First-of-a-kind American Cricket Champions League (ACCL)

The launch of ACCL in April this year marked a turning point in American domestic cricket.  For the first time in America’s checkered cricketing history, domestic cricket leagues from across the country are competing with each other in a 40-overs competition spread over six months leading to a championship playoff series this October, in Orlando, Florida that will eventually crown America’s first national cricket champion league.

Seventeen hardball member leagues of the ACF spread across six national divisions in the U.S.A. began their ACCL campaign in May with Arizona Scorpions defeating the Southern California Cricket Association on May 16th. The top team from each of the six divisions will qualify for the championship series in Orlando later this year.  It is estimated that by the time the last ball is bowled in the ACCL, more than 350 of America’s best hardball cricketers would have competed nationally under the ACF banner. 5 months, 6 Divisions, 17 leagues, One American Cricket Champion!

The ACCL website – www.acfchampionsleague.org launched in early May has become a rich source for all news, events, match reports, and features related to the ACCL, its teams, and players.

Jumpstarting Women’s Cricket  

With no U.S.A. national women’s tournaments held since 2010, the American Cricket Federation, in response to several inquiries from female cricketers, pledged its wholehearted support to the development of women’s cricket, and further demonstrated this as part of its all-inclusive manifesto, by electing the first women’s cricket representative on a national governing cricket body in the U.S.A. Three women now serve in varying capacities as part of the governing structure of the ACF.

In 2013, ACF was the title sponsor of the 3rd Atlanta Women’s T20 Cricket Tournament held in Atlanta, GA, providing significant logistical support in addition to financial sponsorship. Similar support was again provided the tournament this past May, where teams from the Cayman Islands and Canada participated alongside four domestic teams. That tournament featured nine national players who last represented the U.S.A. in 2011.

In April, ACF launched its ACE Women’s Cricket Initiative with a “Women’s Cricket Awareness Week,” and is currently in the first phase of the program, aimed at Assessing, Creating and Executing a comprehensive women’s cricket development program in the U.S.A.

National Coaching Initiative

ACF has undertaken a single national standard for cricket coaching certification.  It provides for standardized national cricket coaching accreditation using nationally established standards, regulations and policies and it offers a vehicle of integration of international coaching credentials.   A key aspect of the initiative is to ensure that youth and women’s coaching needs are comprehensively addressed across the US.

Volunteer Recognition Award

Cricket in the U.S.A. is organized and conducted at the grassroots level by hundreds of unheralded volunteers, who unselfishly give of their time and other resources to the growth and development of the sport. The American Cricket Federation wishes to recognize these unsung heroes, and launched the ACF national Volunteer Recognition Award program in Fall 2013. To-date, the program has recognized several volunteers, who continue to contribute to the growth and development of cricket across the U.S.A. This Fall ACF with recognize the MVP of those nominated and recognized during the first year.

The initiative is an ongoing one and individuals, clubs, or leagues may nominate a deserving volunteer for recognition by the ACF. The details can be found at the ACF website www.americancricketfederation.org

Our Valuable Sponsors

The ACF works closely with its corporate partners, who have been very supportive of cricket in the United States. This year has seen three new sponsors come on board.

Hammer Cricket has expressed its support by donating a Hammer Cricket bat to the top run scorer in the North American Cricket Championship in Arizona, a Hammer Cricket bat to the top run scorer during the American Cricket Champions League season, and a Hammer Cricket bat, pad and gloves to the top run scorer in the ACF National Championship Tournament. Also, the ACF Batsman of the Year will receive a full Hammer Cricket sponsorship, which includes two bats, gloves, pads, a bag, additional guards and apparel such as hats and shirts.

Our partnership with CricHQ provides discounted rates for ACF and its members for the premier online scoring system, which has rapidly become the indispensable industry standard.

Our partnership with Newbery Cricket will supply all ACCL teams with custom designed and manufactured kits at no cost to the teams, and will also produce and market ACF-licensed team apparel and merchandise. Newbery will also supply custom shirts for ACCL umpires.