Stanford not to withdraw his multimillion-pound investment in English cricket

December 18th, 2008 - 7:25 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Dec 18 (ANI): Allen Stanford has insisted that he is not going to withdraw from his multimillion-pound investment in English cricket.
The billionaire is conducting a full review of his involvement with the sport but he said its focus will be on the future of his work in the West Indies and will not affect his commitments with the England and Wales Cricket Board.
Stanford’’s comments contradicted remarks made earlier in the day by his own spokespeople that a complete pull out from the sport was “being evaluated”, The Guardian reported.
His statement confirmed his desire to work with the ECB on the Stanford 20/20, the quadrangular tournament at Lord’’s and the English Premier League, but added that discussions are ongoing between Stanford and the ECB over these tournaments.
The news will be a welcome relief to the ECB. Today the ECB will release the long-delayed 2009 fixture list, which will include a Lord’’s tournament involving England, a Stanford All Stars team, and two sides from Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Pakistan.
ECB chairman Giles Clarke, who is in Mohali for the second Test against India, had hailed the relationship with the Texan as a chance for English cricket to assert its independence.
Any uncertainty over the five-year deal the ECB have made with Stanford would put the board in a vulnerable position, and be a boon the increasingly dominant Indian Premier League.
Clarke still came in for fierce criticism from the Hampshire chairman Rod Brasnsgrove over the deals with Stanford.
“If you make flaky deals with flaky people, you must expect a flaky outcome,” said Bransgrove.
Stanford’’s review of his programme is focused on the contractual issues with the West Indies Cricket Board, which arose before the start of the Stanford Super Series.
And it is the West Indies Cricket Board that seems to bear the brunt of his discontent. Its principal sponsor, Digicel, was unhappy about its partial exclusion from the branding of the Stanford Super Stars team who beat England in the recent 20/20 for 20 final in Antigua. (ANI)

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