NEW YORK – The USA Cricket Association has plunged itself into a public relations crisis that has brought to light an astounding level of incompetence by its executive secretary, Kenywyn Williams.
1,500 posts. 16 references to selling knives, 7 references to iPads, 8 references to Sachin Tendulkar and 30 references to the NYPD.
In what has fast become an era of ‘think before you tweet’, Williams has managed to indiscriminately embarrass the USACA in every way imaginable, after a prolonged public meltdown on their official Facebook page.
The tragicomic, epic Facebook comment thread – now standing at around 1,500 posts over four days – began as a typical effort to discredit a piece from USA cricket’s foremost writers, Peter Della Penna (aka Keyser Soze).
Perhaps we are accustomed to the anodyne and uncontroversial posts from the ECB, BCCI et al, but at the very least, the opening post from Williams was most certainly ill-advised to the outside observer – why antagonize and belittle a man with whom you are supposed to be building bridges?
The offending article from Della Penna – if that is his real name – seemed relatively run-of-the-mill. It detailed facts which he no doubt went through a lot of effort to obtain and verify, highlighting the continuing sorry state of affairs at USACA. An addendum may well be required soon.
After some innocuous comments from innocent bystanders, what ensued must be counted as some of the finest hole-digging since the Battle of the Somme.
Provoked only by logical, reasoned posts by a handful of fans of USA cricket, it soon became clear that any comments defending Della Penna were like waving a red rag to a bull. A bull who would alternate between mindlessly charging said rag, and covering itself in its own excrement.
As well as the sheer intensity of idiocy spouted by Williams, it is worth noting that he devised a bizarre, Fight Club-esque alter ego called ‘Rozay Chardonnay’ (yes, seriously).
‘Rozay’ (no, seriously) committed the cardinal Facebook sin of liking her own post, time and time again. Her grammar, spelling, content themes and sentence phrasing was identical to Williams in his role as USACA administrator.
I am sure it is just some bizarre coincidence, and will remained an unanswered question. Much like how on earth can an ostensibly incompetent, offensive buffoon can have any say whatsoever in guiding sport in a country of 330 million.
Then again, we’ve seen Ijaz Butt, Gerald Majola and Peter Chingoka in higher positions in more prominent countries, so perhaps we should be thankful that someone with Williams’ lowly aptitude for administration can only do so much harm.
“America has standards”
Asking ESPN to drop their USA cricket correspondents was one of the least smart moves in what is proving to be a major embarrassment for the USACA.
At this point, the comments thread evolved into something wonderful, with a succession of writers taking turns to lyrically bitchslap Kenwyn Williams…
Incredulous talk of ‘silencing informants’ could have been straight out of a scene of a low-budget version of Scarface…
In between all this, there was some genuine bile being spouted, and many jumped to the defence of USYCA’s Jamie Harrison, who has done much to further the sport among America’s youth.
Former New Zealand cricketer Iain O’Brien had been posting on the thread for days before USACA even noticed him, and even then…
Michael Wagener aka New Zealand’s premier cricket statistician had the final word…
Ultimately, a sorry state of affairs for cricket in America. Evidently, there are some people who must be immediately removed from their positions. Perhaps most tragically, it seems that there is a groundswell of genuine support within the USA – ultimately, these experienced and passionate supporters of cricket must be the ones making decisions at the top, as it is clear that the men in cheap suits are well out of touch with reality.
UPDATE: I am still waiting for Rozay to accept my friend request on Facebook.
Published with permission from Alternative Cricket...cricket for grown-ups.