Texas tycoon to ink new deal with ECB

February 12th, 2009 - 9:35 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Feb 12 (IANS) Texas billionaire Allen Stanford is negotiating a new three-year deal with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for an annual quadrangular tournament at the Lord’s, featuring his Stanford Superstars XI.
Stanford scrapped the $20 million showpiece match between England and Superstars XI but his new contract with the ECB will replace the existing $100 million five-year deal he signed with the board in June.

Stanford’s quadrangular tournament was expected to be held this year but beyond that his future involvement with English cricket was shrouded in doubt.

The Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) are reluctant to discuss the deal with the England players while they are locked in a Test series against the West Indies.

“It is imperative we get to the bottom of what the benefits are to English cricket and we would like longer to look at the deal than we had last time,” Sean Morris, the chief executive of the PCA, was quoted as saying in English media.

“We are in friendly negotiations with the ECB and we will take it to the players at the appropriate time. At the moment, they are fully focused on the Test series and we do not want to distract them from that.”

The ECB are hoping to meet the players in Barbados on Feb 18 before the start of the third Test. However, it seems Stanford is pressing for an answer sooner and was keen to make an announcement during the next Test on his home island of Antigua.

The new agreement with Stanford is the result of months of negotiations since the staging of the inaugural Super Series in October.

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