ICL: Indian Cricket League

Stanford wants to bankroll EPL


Allen Stanford, the Texan billionaire who has proposed a US$20 million winner-takes-all contest between England and a West Indies XI, could be prepared to bankroll an English version of the Indian Premier League, but only if the England & Wales Cricket Board can guarantee him a return on his investment.

Stanford has been in talks with the ECB all week, because he believes that, if done properly, a proposed English Premier League offers the only realistic rival to India’s riches. He told The Times on Wednesday that he already had a group of investors lined up to get involved if the notion can get off the ground.

There are plenty of hurdles to overcome before Stanford’s wishes can be granted, however, not least the likely opposition from the first-class counties who might fear being marginalised in such a deal. “The ECB are conservative,” Stanford told The Times. “”They realise they’re at a crossroads. They either let the Indians do it or they step up and get a game plan.

“The ECB, for my estimation, need to be the driver,” said Stanford. “The organisation here is better, the management is better, the structure is better. It’s inevitable that the ECB will create a Twenty20 league, it’s inevitable that it will involve the private sector and it’s inevitable that the game will evolve.”

Stanford said that he was willing to be a “big supporter” of English cricket, but warned that the players, fans and administrators shouldn’t just look at him as a benevolent uncle of the game. “There’s two types of investor,” he said. “There’s the philanthropists, who don’t exist. The others look at the return. If I do anything outside the West Indies, I want to see what kind of return I get.”

Julian Hunte and Donald Peters, the president and chief executive of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), have also been in London for discussions that have been described by all parties as “very productive”, although the ECB have not commented on the possibility of creating the EPL.

Source:Cricket News

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