Clarke refuses to resign as Stanford is charged

ECB chairman vows to stay on despite case against American billionaire

Giles Clarke, the chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, refused to contemplate resignation last night after Sir Allen Stanford, the American banking billionaire with whom the ECB had formed a lucrative but uneasy alliance, had been charged with fraud in the United States.

“I will not be resigning,” said Clarke, after it was put to him that the matter could force him out of office.

He is about to start another two-year term after being unopposed in the election, but both he and the ECB’s chief executive, David Collier, seem certain to come under extreme pressure to consider their positions.

They trumpeted the five-year deal with Stanford as one of unbridled good fortune for English as well as West Indies cricket, but last night Stanford was placed under a temporary restraining order and had his assets frozen after financial regulators in the America accused him of selling $8bn (£5.2m) worth of so-called certificates of deposit guaranteeing improbable and unsubstantiated returns.

Clarke, in Antigua for the third Test between England and the West Indies, said: “We have a situation where a court case has been filed. The matter is therefore sub judice. We also have contractual rights with this particular situation. At the moment all of the obligations with regard to the game that was played have been met and all of the various people who were expected to do various things for that match have received their remunerations as far as I am aware.”

Clarke refused to concede that it was at the least an embarrassment for him and the organisation he leads, but when pressed agreed the relationship with Stanford was at least a cause for regret.

At an impromptu press conference held under a stand at the Antigua Recreation Ground Clarke was clearly nervous but sure of his retention of office.

The ECB has suspended all negotiations with Stanford and it is highly improbable that any more matches will be played under the Stanford umbrella. The board entered a five-year deal with the financier last year, which included a $20m (£14m) annual Twenty20 match in Antigua and a four-team Twenty20 tournament in England each summer. Neither is now likely to take place.

Linda Chatman Thomsen, director of enforcement at the US Securities and Exchange Commission, said: “Stanford and the close circle of family and friends with whom he runs his businesses perpetuated a massive fraud based on false promises and fabricated historical return data to prey on investors.” The regulator went on to say that Stanford “had promised improbable and unsubstantiated high interest rates that were supposedly earned through a unique investment strategy that purportedly allowed the bank to achieve double digit on its investments for the past 15 years.”

In Antigua, the repercussions threaten to be dire. Stanford has had businesses on the island for more than twenty years, employs hundreds of local people and by yesterday afternoon queues were forming outside the bank of Antigua, which he owns.

Stanford arrived in English cricket at Lord’s last summer in a helicopter and was greeted by Clarke and Collier. They fell just short of bowing before him. Stanford then exhibited a trunk containing $20m to show what his team, the Stanford Superstars, and England, would be playing for last November. The match took place but controversy was never far away.

The ECB said it had carried out due diligence on Stanford, and Clarke insisted that there was no indication that anything was wrong. But the ECB must carry out an immediate inquiry into how things went so far.

Stanford’s game plan

* In 2006 the 58-year-old Texan billionaire created and funded a Twenty20 tournament in the Caribbean, spending £16m, including the building of a new stadium.

* Signed £50m contract with Eng-lish Cricket Board for five Twenty20 games over five years, with a prize fund of £10m for each game.

* Series climaxed with £10m match between West Indies XI and England as part of the Super Series.

News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEpic YouTube video features boundary-pushing staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Travel
travel
News
Robyn Lawley
people
News
people
News
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmThe film is surprisingly witty, but could do with taking itself more seriously, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
people
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star