rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Cricket » Varadarajan, CCA file lawsuit against USACA

Varadarajan, CCA file lawsuit against USACA

March 31, 2012 20:23 IST

Ram Varadarajan and California Cricket Academy have filed a lawsuit against United States of America Cricket Association,Inc (USACA) alleging history of electoral delays and manipulation at the USACA present board members.

The case has been filed on March 15 at the federal court at the District of Northern California asking the court to halting the sham elections and substituting free and fair elections.

"It is simple case," said plaintiffs attorney David Marroso. "It's a case of a group of individual who are in power and who desperately want to remain in power in the USACA, and they will do anything legal or illegal to remain in power," said Marroso to Rediff.com

He said Varadarajan and CCA his clients said enough is enough and decided to take an action and not allow these people run short over democracy and to dictate the future of USACA.

USACA is the governing body of cricket in the United States and has about 48 cricket leagues. Each league has clubs and teams that compete in tournaments in the leagues and throughout the country.

USACA collects annual membership dues from its member leagues. USACA consist of eight different regions in the US, South East, North West, South West, Central West, North East, Atlantic and Yew York. Each region represents a board member and the board has president, first vice president, second vice president and treasurer.

Varadarajan was nominated by the cricket league in Washington to run for the USACA president. However, the election never took place, instead the issue has landed at the federal court in California.

Varadarajan has chosen Los Angeles based law firm O'MELVENY & MYERS LLP, and the firm has been known for dealing with all kinds of sports litigation. 

The ICC, the supreme governing body of Cricket and USACA is one of its member, though not the primary. David said he has not sent any legal papers to them, but they certainly know about this issue.

David also said he has spoken to the USACA lawyers. "They do not agree to the release that we seek."

"We oppose the lawsuit," said USACA defendant attorney Marshall Beil, McGuire Woods LLP New York's to Rediff.com. However agreed that they have to follow what court orders,

The report states that the problem at USACA started after 2008 election. The board postponed the election the first time, saying that there is no written timeframe for election and no articulated standards for voter eligibility. Also it stated that it would be inappropriate to hold election until determined which league were eligible to vote. 

According to the lawsuit USACA constitution was formed in 2008, each board member term shall last for a period of three years and regional elections must be held no later than October 30 of each electoral year. Votes shall be cast by the delegations from each region in USACA and candidate who emerges with the majority of votes wins.

So the national election for board position was held on March 29, 2008 and so the next election date was March 29, 2011.

The litigation filed shows that the election did not occur on the given date, instead a statement was issued that election would take place on October 15, 2011, which again was moved to November, 30 followed by December and then January and March, the recent date is April 14.

According to the lawsuit though USACA hosted the regional election on October 30,2011, but many incumbent regional representatives serving the board lost the election.

The result, the board unilaterally nullified the legitimate-held regional elections and ordered for an audit.

During the audit, the board said if the members could not complete the audit to the Board's subjective satisfaction, then the members would not be allowed to vote in the election.

After the audit the board disenfranchised California Cricket Academy, based in Cupertino, California, even after active participation and the ICC recognized CCA with the best youth cricket development program award in 2005.

"The lawsuit asks the federal court to force USACA to hold a full and free election to determine who the next Board of Directors will be," said Kinjal Buch, founder and president of CCA.  

Buch said, "We believe USACA's actions violate its Constitution as well as numerous laws, and we look forward to having our case heard by the Court."

So the lawsuit filed by both CCA and Varadarajan has requested the court to appoint a retired or third party neutral evaluator to oversea the election process and hold elections with the 15 members leagues that USACA has deemed eligible to vote and nullifying all regional election held in 2011.

Ritu Jha