ICL: Indian Cricket League

ECB expects Stanford deal will continue


Giles Clarke, the ECB chairman, remains confident the board’s five-year deal with Allen Stanford will go ahead despite the doubts over his future involvement in West Indies cricket.

On Wednesday, Stanford, the Texan billionaire who bankrolled the Stanford 20/20 for 20, disbanded his board of legends and there were concerns that he was about to pull the plug on his relationship with cricket altogether. The ECB’s primary concern was whether Stanford might also cancel the annual US$20 million winner-takes-all match between the Stanford Superstars and England, as well as the Twenty20 quadrangular tournament in the summer.

However, those fears have been allayed - for the time being, at least - after the ECB’s chief executive, David Collier, spoke directly to Stanford on Wednesday and emailed Clarke his reassurances.

“Any issues that exist are clearly issues that exist in the Caribbean and we are not involved,'’ Clarke said. “David Collier has spoken to him and he [Stanford] wanted to make it clear that he is committed to working with the ECB.'’

Stanford’s problem with West Indies cricket appears to be with Digicel, the West Indies’ main sponsors, who were accused by the Stanford 20/20 for 20 organisers of “bullying” tactics. The matter threatened to derail the tournament in Antigua before a “commercial agreement” compromise was reached at the eleventh hour, but it is clear that the issue remains a sticking point between the two parties.

“He has not said anything to us about ceasing to carry on doing things for West Indies cricket,'’ Clarke said. “His issue is with the West Indies Cricket Board over the Digicel matter. He has an issue with them, they are going to discuss and debate that and he’s made it perfectly clear he wishes to carry on with his arrangements with us.

“We’re not in a position to dictate to either him or the West Indies Cricket Board about how they wish to deal with each other.'’

The ECB today announced its domestic fixtures list, in which a window has been left open for the proposed quadrangular tournament. Should it go ahead, it will take place between May 28 and May 30, though the board has yet to confirm the opposition.

Source:Cricket News

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