Sunday, November 02, 2008


Stanford Superstars Smash England For 20

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$20 million, winner takes all, and the Poms leave the Caribbean with not a penny in their pockets. Kevin Pietersen believes that the miserable England performance was a result of all the off-field shenanigans involving the players' wives and one egotistical, crass and self-obsessed American billionaire. This incident was easily explained away. However, the question of the English players' interest in participating in future such cash grabs will prove far more difficult to answer.

Coming from a country that prides itself on being so "proper" I find it hard to fathom how the ECB could agree to whore England's integrity at the altar of a smug Texan who cares not for the game, its people or their cultures. Even rational Americans will understand why it's just not cricket.

Take nothing away from the Caribbean players who have demolished their opposition and earned their millions. This money will change many of their lives, hopefully for the better. For English cricketers who are not so poverty stricken, what will keep them coming back? Surely further humiliation will not prove a big enough carrot.

I do not buy that Allan Stanford is interested in promoting the interests of West Indian cricket. Until Stanford's hidden agenda is outed, anything this man does will be viewed with a large dollop of cringe, cynicism and suspicion. For all the feeble protestations of Stanford and Giles Clarke the Stanford 20 for 20 will not capture the hearts of the cricket lovers across the globe. After all, there is simply nothing official about it.

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