ECB believes Stanford series secure
Thursday 18 December 2008
English cricket officials remained confident last night that their lucrative liaison with Sir Allen Stanford will continue. A report that the Texan billionaire was about to end his bizarre involvement with the sport was given no credence by the man himself and appeared at the least to be premature.
"We have heard nothing about Sir Allen withdrawing from cricket," said David Collier, chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board. "We last saw him two weeks ago when he was in London and he gave no indication of that. Indeed, he has nothing but praise about the way England have conducted themselves in this."
Collier and the ECB chairman, Giles Clarke, were instrumental in setting up the Stanford deal. It is supposed to last five years and includes a $20m Twenty20 match in Antigua each autumn which forms part of the Stanford Super Series and an annual quadrangular tournament at Lord's in which two of the teams will be England and the Stanford Superstars. The ECB was also hoping that Stanford might back their much-vaunted new Twenty20 competition, the England Premier League, which is due to start in 2010.
"The quadrangular tournament in 2009 will definitely take place because that's linked with the recent Twenty20 for 20," said Collier. "We have heard nothing about after that. He had concerns about the behaviour of the West Indies board and the British press but that doesn't mean he will not be proceeding with the agreement."
The suggestion that Stanford, who has poured $100m (£65m) into cricket and seems to have a genuine affection for the short form of the game, was withdrawing his sponsorship stemmed from his decision to disband the legends' group of cricketers to whom he was paying around $10,000 a month each. They included Sir Viv Richards and Curtly Ambrose. Julie Hodge, Stanford's official spokesman, said: "No decision has been taken on the future of the Super Series. He is still evaluating his options and no decision has been made yet over whether to have a different format or continue as it is."
The deal with the ECB guarantees it $3.5m a year.
Kevin Garside: Manchester United may have history and tradition but, as David Moyes never realised, a big-time manager always bends such things to his will
Louis van Gaal denies problem with Wilfried Zaha despite Manchester United forward being given no game time
Manchester United latest: Juan Mata emerges as Louis van Gaal's favoured No 10 as prospect of signing Angel Di Maria fails to improve
Arsenal: Arrival of Calum Chambers and David Ospina puts Arsène Wenger's spending past £50m
Tour de France 2014: Vincenzo Nibali confirmed as champion as he puts Italy back on the map with triumph
- 1 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 2 Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 3 Thatcher ‘was warned of Tory child sex party claims’
- 5 The Simpsons Family Guy trailer: First look at crossover episode after Comic-Con debut
Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia