ECB worried over reports of Stanford pull-out

December 17th, 2008 - 9:05 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Dec 17 (IANS) Reports of Texan billionaire, Allen Stanford, terminating the lucrative five-year deal of Twenty20 matches with England, have left England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in a state of shock. ECB officials were desperately trying to discover more details about the reports that Stanford is about to abandon attempts to sell Twenty20 cricket to the United States market after allegedly expending in excess of $20m on the inaugural tournament.

“We are unaware of the alleged developments. We have to discover more,” an ECB spokesman was quoted as saying in The Guardian.

Speculation that Stanford is on the brink of quitting arises from reports that he called his eight West Indian “legends” into his office in Antigua Tuesday to tell them that their contracts, thought to be worth $10,000 a month, had been terminated.

The Stanford Challenge was widely criticised as tacky even though he bankrolled the game to the tune of $20m with the victorious West Indies side benefiting to the tune of $1m a player, money that for many has entirely changed their lives.

A worldwide recession, which will have compromised the health of his financial empire, has also reduced Stanford’s chances of pulling off the television deals required to make the tournament financially viable.

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