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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Arts and Entertainment
Sister Cristina Scuccia sings 'Like a Virgin' in Venice

Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice

Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Life and Style
The Tinder app has around 10 million users worldwide

techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album