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The Stanford 20/20 is finally being exposed for what it is - a multi-million dollar sham to satisfy the whims and fancies of one man. Don't get fooled into thinking this is payback for the IPL not including any English players in its competition - any millions the players make are purely coincidental.
Unlike any other cricket competition running at present, this exhibition match between England and the Stanford All-Stars is all about Texan billionaire Allan Stanford continuing to stamp his authority all over the WICB. We all know how loud money talks in today's world and Allan Stanford seems to love throwing it all around the Caribbean islands in the guise of helping West Indian cricket.
Proceedings brought by Digicel, the West Indian cricket team's principal sponsor, against Stanford 20/20 may see the indefinite postponement of the match involving the Poms. Digicel is arguing that the Standford All-Stars team is the West Indies national team by another name, thereby Digicel's sponsorship agreement with the WICB permits it to brand the Stanford All-Stars playing kit with the Digicel logo.
Stanford has made a lot more money by selling these branding rights to Digicel's fierce competitor, Cable & Wireless. This is a legal battle that cricket doesn't need, but one that is utterly necessary to ensure that no one individual hijacks a national board or national players for one-off tamasha matches.
If Stanford really cared for West Indies cricket he would globalise his domestic 20/20 tournament to include prominent players and teams, such as structures adopted by the IPL, ICL and domestic cricketing structure of every other national board.
I'm not foolish enough to believe that Lalit Modi or Subash Chandra are indulging in generous philanthropic acts. However, their tournaments are going some way to bettering the global standards of cricket, cricketers and the facilities they utilise.
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