Allen Stanford says embarrassment he caused English cricket 'breaks his heart' in interview with convicted fraudster

Stanford was sentenced o 110 years in jail a year after agreeing a multi-million pound deal with the ECB to play Twenty20 cricket in the West Indies

Convicted fraudster Allen Stanford claims it "breaks his heart" to hear of the embarrassment he caused English cricket.

In an interview with BBC Sport from his high-security prison in Florida, Stanford said regretted the damage done to the sport following his agreement with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), which he claims was intended to revolutionise the game in the West Indies.

In 2008, Stanford signed a deal with the ECB in 2008 to play a series of five Twenty20 matches in the Caribbean, worth a combined £10million, in an attempt to raise the profile of the game among young people in the area.

England convincingly lost the first game against a Stanford Superstars by 10 wickets, with Stanford attracting criticism for what was considered to be inappropriate behaviour around the players' wives and girlfriends during the game.

The following year he was charged with fraud worth 8billion and sentenced to 110 years in jail, causing huge embarrassment to the ECB and in particular Giles Clarke, who was chairman at the time.

Allen-Stanford1.jpg
Allen Stanford (2nd L) poses with West Indian cricketer Sir Viv Richards (L), Dr Julian Hunte, Chairman of the West Indian cricket board and David Collier (R) of the ECB in front of the 20 million US dollars

Speaking to BBC Sport, Stanford said of the impact it had on the ECB: "It's very sad. I have nothing but respect for the English cricket board and I love the sport of cricket.

"I'm very sorry. It breaks my heart and there's nothing I can say other than that was not caused by Allen Stanford.

"That was caused by the wrongful prosecution, an over-zealous and wrongful prosecution."

He added: "Will I apologise? No. Mark my words... I am going to walk out the doors of this place a free man."

Of those in charge of the ECB at the time, Clarke and former chief executive David Collier, Stanford said: "I'm not sure if Giles Clarke is still the head person now, but he and I got along well.

"And I think the world of David Collier.

"My dealings with the ECB was one of professionalism and one of mutual respect and I love cricket."

PA

Comments