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Last updated on Wednesday, May 14, 2014
(UNDATED) - Only one month after tickets went on sale, the U.S. Cricket Championships scheduled for Indianapolis could be in jeopardy, though the city and the sport’s national leader say the August tournament will take place.
The USA Cricket Association (USACA), the sport's national governing body, could be suspended by cricket's world governing organization, the International Cricket Council, for a violation of a governance rule.
If it is, USACA - based in Florida - would lose about $400,000 in annual funding according to a rival cricket federation, which would seem to be a major financial blow to an association that, according to a 2012 tax filing, was already in debt by about $3 million.
USACA's current leadership denies that anything is amiss, with their bank accounts or their standing with international officials.
"The ICC would send out official notification to us many months before something like that would ever happen, and we haven't received it. I think it's conjecture, and I don't really qualify it as news," said Michael Gale, USACA's first vice president.
Not so says the leader of the rival group, the American Cricket Federation, who adds that the ICC could vote within the month on USACA's status.
"The rules are very clear. No nation is allowed to have two governing bodies. At this point, it's obvious the United States has two governing bodies," said Jamie Harrison, the federation's CEO.
The ACF formed in 2012 when 32 cricket leagues across the U.S. were deemed ineligible to vote in USACA's elections.
"They formed (the ACF) in desperation after having for 10 or 15 years attempting to influence the board of directors at USACA. They had had it," Harrison said.
An email from the ICC said the Council does not comment on the agenda for future meetings, but USACA has been suspended by the ICC twice previously - in 2005 and 2007.
The city signed a deal with USACA in 2013 to host the U.S. Championships from 2014 through 2016 at Indy's new World Sports Park, the former Post Road Community Park on the Eastside. Remodeling of the park is scheduled to be completed in mid-August, just before the August 21-24 tournament, though Stephanie Wilson with the Department of Public Works says construction on the park's two cricket fields is already complete.
As far as the city is concerned, the tournament is on.
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