ACF Steering Committee has been dissolved as of Sunday, December 8. The profiles of the newly elected officials will be posted soon. 
Meet the ACF’s dedicated members who are committed to bring change to the landscape of the US Cricket. The committee structure can be found here

Avinash Gaje

President – New Jersey Softball Cricket League (NJSBCL)

Avinash is the founding member of NJSBCL. Under his leadership, the organization has seen steady growth and currently hosts more than 100 recreational tennis ball teams. Avinash is a mechanical engineer with a post graduate degree in operations management. Apart from initiating a few start-up companies, he has led successful management teams in multi- national organizations like Oracle and Godrej. He currently manages a software company that specializes in Pharmaceutical Services.

Avinash Gaje says, “Cricket gives me a sense of great accomplishment and fulfillment when cricketing events go as planned, and are executed successfully.” The NJSBL is considered by many to be one of the best run softball leagues based on its cooperative principles.

Apart from his undying love of the sport and commitment to promoting the game of cricket to schools, colleges, and the community in general, Avinash is also active in several community-based and non-profit organizations, such as the Marathi Vishwa and Maharashtra Mandal. He also manages alumni networks for a business school (SIMSR) and an engineering school (SPCE) in the USA.

Avinash can be reached at agaje@yahoo.com

Avinash Varma

President – Washington Metro Cricket Board (WMCB)

A cricket, soccer and music fan, Avinash has a unique love for cricket. He is an active cricket player and has captained several teams throughout his playing career. He has been serving as the President of WMCB since 2010. A mechanical engineer by education and training, he holds an MBA from George Washington University. According to Avinash, “Cricket in my opinion is the most complete sport, in that it embodies all the elements that contribute to a successful life – individual talent, skills, team-work, leadership, sportsmanship, character, and grace under pressure, among many other attributes.” Attributes, which no doubt produce astute leadership and responsibility.

Avinash has been playing cricket from age six and has played at the college-level in India as a batsman, bowler and wicketkeeper, and has served as captain of Greenbelt, Mass Avenue and Damascus cricket clubs. In the USA, Avinash has played cricket in the Washington metropolitan area and has been the President of the Washington Metro Cricket board since 2010.

With a background in mechanical engineering and an MBA from George Washington University, Avinash is now the Director of Consulting at CGI Federal, whose clients include federal agencies such as the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Avinash can be reached at avinash.wmcb@gmail.com

Dr. BK Atul Rai

President – United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) – 2001-03
President – Southern California Cricket Association (SCCA) – 1997-2001

A cricket administrator since the early 90s, Atul Rai has been the President of SCCA for six years, having played cricket at the school and college levels while growing up in India. In the USA, he has served as Vice President, Secretary and later President of USACA from 2001 to 2003. During his tenure he drafted a five year strategic plan for USA cricket, developed National, Junior, and Youth programs and also created the senior national tournament. Under his leadership, Team USA won the Americas Cup for the first time in 2002. He also collaborated with the ICC to develop Project USA, which would have brought $20M to US cricket – a project that was shelved due to governance issues under the leadership of the administration that succeeded his tenure as President.

Off the field and out of the boardrooms of cricket, Atul is a successful dentist by profession since 1988 in Santa Barbara, CA and specializing in several aspects of dentistry.

Atul can be reached at bkrai1@aol.com

Durga Das

Captain – USACA Women’s Team 2010
Represented US in World Cup Qualifier in Bangladesh 2011
Vice Captain – Central Zone, India 1990
Captain – Indian Universities – 1989-90
Member – World Cup Squad India 1990
Represented South Zone and Tamil Nadu, India 1979-89

Durga has an impressive record of serving the sport of cricket at different levels throughout her 20-year association with the game. More recently, she was the captain of the USA Women’s team in 2010 that won the ICC Americas Cup, and a player on the 2011 US national team in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Bangladesh. Durga is well-respected and admired in cricket circles around the world. An avid sailor and golfer, she is a seasoned entrepreneur, technologies and sales/marketing evangelist. Durga is the founder and managing partner of DAS STAR Ventures.

Durga, who believes “Cricket builds character,” has assumed the portfolio for women’s cricket in an advisory capacity on the Steering Committee of ACF.

Durga can be reached at durga.das@gmail.com

Professor Gangaram Singh

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, the Director of the Center for International Business Education and Research, and a Beyster Fellow at San Diego State University.

Dr. Singh believes that cricket is at a critical juncture in the USA, and the sport needs help badly. According to the former wicketkeeper who has played in Guyana, Canada and the USA “the challenge is to create a national body that can harness the help to make the right choices.” He believes that ACF has that potential. The now college professor believes that cricket is more than a game, and that those who understand it quickly recognize that it is a true reflection of character. Quoting the legendary Bishan Singh Bedi, Gangaram states “if you are a good person, then cricket will allow you to shine.”

Gangaram can be reached at gsingh@mail.sdsu.edu

Dr. Jagan Jagannathan, Ph.D.

Jagan JAn avid cricket writer, Jagan has played cricket in India, Canada and the USA, and has written extensively on the sport. He has held administrative and coaching roles within the California Cricket Academy. Having played cricket for more than 34 years on two continents, Jagan brings a unique experience as a former player and an administrator, coach and manager with a youth academy to the table of developing cricket in the USA. An entrepreneur and technologist focused on computer software since 1983, Jagan stated, “Cricket beautifully and uniquely combines individual achievements with team goals, while highlighting skills, strategy, temperament, patience and sportsmanship.”

Jagan strongly believes in the personal obligation of serving the sport of cricket in the US, and his experience demonstrates such a commitment. Jagan said he joined ACF, “…because US Cricket is in distress and we have an obligation to fix it for future generations.”

Jagan can be reached at jagan@ahista.com

John L. Aaron

Currently Secretary of Atlantis Cricket Club – NY

Secretary – United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) – 2008-11
Inducted into Cricket Hall of Fame, Hartford, CT – 2012
President – Eastern American Cricket Association 2006-08
Regional Director – New York Cricket Region 2007-08
President – Atlantis Cricket Club-NY 2000 – 10
Chairman – US League Presidents Reconciliation Committee 2007-2008, tasked with negotiating the lifting of ICC’s suspension of USACA, with the help of the WICB

John AAn avid writer on policy and guidelines for sport, as well as cricket, John considers himself a servant of cricket and has contributed enormously to its development in the US and most recently with regard to the growth of women’s cricket in the New York metropolitan area.

John Aaron believes, that “Like music, the sport of cricket transcends boundaries of human-kind, while maintaining a competitive but gentlemanly spirit of sportsmanship.” He is convinced that he can make a genuine contribution to the development and promotion of cricket, especially in the USA. According to the 2012 Cricket Hall of Fame inductee, “The camaraderie that cricket helps to develop among people of all walks of life, ethnicities, cultural barriers, religions, etc., is like an international language spoken by those who embrace the sport at its basic levels.”

John has worked in corporate America for 25 years, before assuming a career in academia as a Higher Education Officer with the City University of New York and as a Director of Marketing and Corporate Training. Awarded New York University’s prestigious Prism award as an outstanding alumnus, he is considered one of the pivotal forces behind the ICC lifting its 2007 suspension of USACA and he has aligned himself with ACF, because of its transparency, integrity, willingness to pursue good governance and inclusivity.

John can be reached at johnlaaron2000@aol.com

Dr. Kamal Azeez

President – Southern California Cricket Association

Kamal Azeez is a tireless cricket administrator who is committed to seeing the sport grow in the USA. He’s a medical physician with an interest in Public Health issues, but is currently a property developer in the State of California, Kamal sees “cricket as an international sport with grassroots involvement embracing multi-level genres of the sport, including the classic hardball, tape ball and softball versions of the sport that can be played almost anywhere.

Kamal has also served as President of the Hollywood Cricket Club and has built the club to its current status with five teams in the Southern California Cricket League. Kamal is also a Tour Manager and active player of the Hollywood Golden Oldies Cricket Club.

Leighton Greenidge

President – Southern Connecticut Cricket Association (SCtCA)

Leighton Greenidge considers cricket as a tremendous avenue for developing the skill sets that often provides for a well-grounded approach to life’s challenges. From the early 90s, first as Vice-President and then later as a three-term President, he has been President of the Southern Connecticut Cricket Association (SCtCA) from its inception in 2001, it’s a position he still holds today. His managerial style is that of an innovator, to that end he has orchestrated many new concepts in the running of leagues in his capacity as President.

From the inception of the ACF, Greenidge has served as the Convener; he also headed up the Tournament Committee for the recently concluded Inaugural ACF National tournament held in Los Angeles. Most who know him well, consider him a great cricketing mind and an asset to the growth and development of the sport in the USA.

Professionally, Leighton is a Computer Engineer and has served as President and CEO of a Connecticut computer maintenance firm, as well the CEO of a minority-owned New York Electrical Contractor.

Leighton can be reached at leightong@aol.com

Masaood Yunus

President – Minnesota Cricket Association (MCA) – 2011-12
Former Board Member of the Central East Region (CER)

Masaood YMasaood believes that there is a greater need for operational excellence, marketing and sports management knowledge-base, and exchange of best practices across the athletic leagues to make cricket an attractive and value-added sport for sports enthusiasts. A medium pace bowler with a penchant for bowling out-swingers, Masaood serverd as President of the Association, having served as its Vice President, Assistant Vice President, and Webmaster.

Besides securing 501(c)(3) status in 2012, he strenghten the MCA brand, undertook challenging projects, and delivered vital IT infrastructure update including integration of social media, website, document management, collaboration, communication and league management system. He also forged vibrant partnerships with local, regional, and national athletic and sports organizations including park boards, school districts and regional cricket leagues. In December 2012, he was awarded the ‘Citizen Appreciation Award’ by the Minneapolis Park Police and Park and Recreation Board for his outstanding contribution. His outreach resulted in national visibility for the organization where cricket and first ever in Minnesota, self sustaining youth development programs were developed and executed. His active engagement with the local media saw cricket being featured on the front page of the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Star Tribune in 2012. As part of his development efforts in 2012, MCA also acquired the first portable pitch in USA by Notts SportsPowerplay Instant Cricket System, expected to be used for exhibition games, cricket development and utilization of turf fields across the Twin Cities.

Star Tribune introduced cricket as “A well-hit ball comes off the wooden bat with a resounding crack! that would do Target Field proud”. That ties nicely with the vibrant engangement that Masaood forged with the Minnesota TWINS (MLB) in 2011-12, and expected to bring cricket to the Target Field to much joy of the cricket fans and supporters. Most recently, Masaood has also aggressively pursued partnership with City of Saint Paul, MN to become a partner with them on proposed Saint Paul Saints (MiLB) stadium refresh to be built by 2015.

Masaood holds a B.Com,BS, MBA and more recently, MS in Management of Technology from University of Minnesota. He quips, “The beautiful blend of sportsmanship, leadership, respect, discipline and competition are cricket’s most unique features.”

Business strategy, disruptive innovation and technology application are passions pursued by the motorcyclist whose hobbies include photography and multimedia.

Masaood can be reached at masaood@yahoo.com

Mike Thomas

Former Captain – Old Albanian Cricket Club, Hertfordshire League, UK (23 years)
Former Captain, then President – British Officers Cricket Club of Philadelphia (26 years)
Co-Founder – Philadelphia International Cricket Festival & Gentlemen of Philadelphia Touring Side
Board Member – C.C. Morris Cricket Library & Museum at Haverford College
PA
Board Member and Treasurer – United States Youth Cricket Association (USYCA)

Mike JTo read Mike Thomas’ cricket bio is to marvel at the involvement of one individual’s contribution to a passion. With regard to playing the sport, Mike thinks he “is a slow left- arm spinner who ought to retire from cricket.” Although it would be hard to retire altogether from a sport he’s so passionate about. In his opinion, “Cricketers are an amazingly friendly global fraternity of all backgrounds and cultures, united in the ultimate team sport.”

An accountant by profession and Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales (retired), Mike Thomas has held positions with the international accounting firm of Peat, Marwick, Mitchell, Chartered Accountants, UK, as well as global corporations such as SmithKline Corporation. He served as its European Treasurer and Managing Director of its European Corporate Headquarters, in London, before relocating to Corporate Headquarters in Philadelphia, PA as Senior Director of Corporate Development and M&A. In more recent years he worked as CFO and VP Business Development in several emergent private and public companies.

Mike can be reached at mikethomas12566@aol.com

Shahid Ahmed

Founding Member – Michigan Cricket Association (MichCA)
Chairman – Michigan Cricket Association since 2007

Shahid AA cricketer from his early childhood days, Shahid Ahmed believes, “Cricket is one of the best team sports. It inculcates great discipline and team work.” That explains Shahid involvement in cricket administration and his association with ACF.

Shahid Ahmed has played cricket at the school, college, university, club and department team levels in Karachi, Pakistan, and has been playing club cricket in USA since 1992.

Shahid earned a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from NED University, Karachi, Pakistan and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. The US representative of the Pakistan Disabled Cricket Association, Shahid Ahmed heads the ACF’s Membership Committee and is a member of its Tournament Committee.

Shahid can be reached at shahidahmed123@hotmail.com

Venu Palaparthi

Cricket League of New Jersey’s (CLNJ’s) representative to ACF
CLNJ’s representative to USACA – 2010-12
CLNJ’s youth coordinator – 2011 to present

Venu PVenu is the Chief Compliance Officer and Vice President for US Transaction Services at Nasdaq OMX, the world’s largest exchange company. Venu is also the co-founder and advisory board member of DreamCricket.com, a US-based cricket website and retailer. Prior to joining NASDAQ, Venu served as the CCO and COO of Instinet LLC, USA, a broker-dealer subsidiary of Nomura Holdings, Inc. Venu worked in a variety of marketing and operations roles at Reuters Group (now Thomson Reuters). Venu received his MBA from the University of Texas at Arlington, a Masters degree in Economics as well as a Bachelors degree in Computer Science from BITS, Pilani.

Since 2010, Venu has served as the Cricket League of New Jersey’s delegate to regional and national cricket organizations. In this role, he channels CLNJ’s views and also seeks the league’s input on key matters.

Venu is one of the founding members of BITSAA International and was its first President between 2001 and 2004. In recognition of his role in the BITS alumni movement, Venu was awarded the BITS Pilani Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2011.

Venu can be reached at venu@dreamcricket.com

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