England and West Indies benefit June 11, 2008

Stanford reveals US$100 million deal

Cricinfo staff
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The winner takes it all: Allen Stanford reveals all at Lord's © Stanford 20/20
 

Antigua-based billionaire Allen Stanford has confirmed that he will be investing US$100 million in a series of Twenty20 matches over the next five years which will make England and West Indies players among the highest paid in the game.

The deal, announced at a slick media conference at Lord's, will centre on five US$20 million games between England and a Stanford All-Stars XI, drawn from the Caribbean, at his purpose-built ground in Antigua. The first of these will be held on November 1, Antigua Independence Day, before England head to India.

"I see the Stanford 20/20 as a fantastic opportunity for current players in the Stanford 20/20 tournament to take a giant leap into the spotlight and gain exposure to top class opposition," Stanford said. "The Stanford 20/20 for 20 [million dollars] will be a highly anticipated event, not just because of the prize money, but because of the traditional friendly rivalry that exists between England and the West Indies."

"The winner goes home happy, the loser goes home unhappy. We had to create something that had never been done before and take cricket to the previous level in the Caribbean, we've not been running our sport at a professional level."

There were concerns with the winner-takes-all format proposed by Stanford but those seem to have been resolved. A deal will mean that if England win, each of the XI will receive US$1 million, the rest of the squad share US$1 million, and the management team splits another US$1 million. The remaining US$7 million will be shared between the ECB and the West Indies Cricket Board, regardless of the outcome of the match itself.

The sums exceed those available for all but the top-paid players in the IPL, and, for the England cricketers, will also come on top of their existing ECB central contracts.

Giles Clarke, the chairman of the ECB, brushed aside suggestions the deal was pandering to the players in light of the distractions offered by the IPL. "I'm not seeing a great deal of worry in the dressing room about finances and we are not trying to appease them," he said. "It gives them a chance to perform under pressure and to make money beyond the dreams of some of their predecessors."

Stanford initially offered South Africa a winner-takes-all match in 2006 but their board declined. A similar offer to India, with a bigger pot, was also dismissed.

Aside from the five matches, it is reported that Stanford will put up US$9.5 million a year for five annual quadrangular events to be held in England from next year. England and West Indies will always be involved in these.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Ravikuruba on | June 17, 2008, 2:15 GMT

    Don't replace the word Cricket with Earnings, be it as professional game. This is going to spoil the culture on and off the field. Test Cricket neeb to be survived, as this is one format of the game where you can see the real stars. With the implementation of such a new(20-20) formts and with the offerings, Players feel comfartable with the earnings and the improvement cannot be seen in the players. Some may retire from playing to the nation as the player has got alternative. "Please save the CRICKET".

  • POSTED BY anmolcool on | June 13, 2008, 9:19 GMT

    ECB is going great . Cricket is evolving. IPL was good ,ICL was good and Stanford will also sure be. But, we all want IPL to shed its arrogance and grant ICL legal sanction and understand it can also have competitors . At last I say that cricket is the best game.

  • POSTED BY The_Wog on | June 13, 2008, 1:05 GMT

    At the risk of being the first to mention the sub-prime crisis on Cricinfo, what it did tell us is that people overpaying big $ usually ends in tears for a lot more people than just the culprits. Either $100m is a fair price, in which case they are planning on extracting $100m somehow, or it's a silly price that will have unforeseen fallout when they lose it.

  • POSTED BY SilentThunder on | June 12, 2008, 22:31 GMT

    It seems to me that Allen Stanford is only trying to boost his ego by being the one to offer the biggest prize for a cricket game. I guess we do not have all the information but I cannot see how those matches will benefit West Indies cricket. What is needed is a strong development program in the WI that will harness the raw potential of our youths and help them to mature into test material. That money would have been better spent on establishing a cricket academy or reviving the one that was started by the St. George's University in Grenada. Why not open academies in the different territories? The main reason for the demise of the Shell Academy was the lack of sponsorship and here is US$100 being spent on 5 games. Another project could be the establishment of a professional league that would involve more players than currently are involved in the domestic competition. Why not have a professional league where teams can buy players from other islands?

  • POSTED BY SANDIPANROY on | June 12, 2008, 20:21 GMT

    A couple of things that I am just wondering about. Firstly, the quality of talent currently existing in the pool of players for England & West Indies is nothing great to write home about. In the IPL tournament, IPL franchises managed to have drafted some world-class players. plus a bunch of young "thoroughbred" cricketers of India have shown a lot of talent and promise. Secondly, let's wait and see how the caste of Modis, Powars, Shahs, et all reacts. So far, they haven't made one iota comment unlike the way they went hard at ICL.

  • POSTED BY SummerofGeorge on | June 12, 2008, 19:11 GMT

    The people comparing this farrago with football are missing two clear points. As a football fan, i can speak from personal experience, and from many other sources, that the current state of the game, awash with money and fatuous television deals, and glory hunting faux fans, is a source of ceaseless disgruntlement to anyone who actually cares about the game. It hasn't helped football, it has made a lot of people very very rich, but meant the actual development of the sport has suffered away from the harsh light of the big clubs and their media sauna, and made prices rocket to a point where the old school fan can barely afford to attend. Secondly, football as a sport is still 90 minutes, 11 vs 11, the fundamental nature of the contest hasn't been altered, T20 takes cricket inexorably closer to Baseball each time, as sure as the walls of the trash compactor in Star Wars came in, as sure as boundary ropes do the same. my enjoyment is not increased by the players financial benefits.

  • POSTED BY shvenko on | June 12, 2008, 18:51 GMT

    Imagine the standard of cricket IPL gave! Who could have not relished the last ball finish for the tournament! Who could have not felt proud of a weakling murdering the kings and knights as a unit! Now that was quality cricket! Who said IPL was all of money! I personally believe that this was a good platform for youngsters all over the world! See, we got Ojha,Gony,Chawla,Yo Mahesh,Dhawan,Y Pathan flaunting their talent against the biggies! Now they didn't get paid much of IPL! Only the heavy weights and the hyped one's got it! These guys came out shining! Shaun Marsh was a classic, Watson was called back, Tanvir was simply outstanding! Could you have ever seen Dravid bat like a manic? Could you have ever seen Tanvir cheered like super star in Chennai? Who could have felt better than Shane Warne who captained and marched the team lowest investment to the top notch? Stop blaming IPL you critics! It got the best out of the young and upcoming, and was a big energizer for the smart and experience!

  • POSTED BY shvenko on | June 12, 2008, 18:35 GMT

    Hey this is funny! I think this is a very very desperate attempt made by the ECB to revive its cricket! Blame it on their players! They just cant play good cricket! They are not entertaining enough! 20$ for 5 matches ?? This is lame! It would have served better reviving the stadias and the clubs of Windies! Wake up guys! Just look at it! Its a desperate act by Stanford to take the game to USA! Not for the sport! He doesn't know cricket! He is just a business man who gets his money in! Its just dumb! Its good for the county, yeah! But if the county guys get hold of such money! They would never come back! They would start living on interest! Sorry to say this! Indeed IPL had loopholes ! But only big names or potentially big names got big money! IPL prize money was sort of ok! Imagine how they had to play,live every ball they were in the pitch! they thoroughly deserve that! But this Stanford is spoiling a good bunch of upcoming Lara's and Botham's ! Accept it ECB !

  • POSTED BY banglafan on | June 12, 2008, 17:18 GMT

    With a portion of the money spent on the "legal" IPL, the people living in the squalor of Mumbai's slums could get clean water for a change.

    Money has ruined the chastity of the game, and we all know who is to blame.

  • POSTED BY banglafan on | June 12, 2008, 17:09 GMT

    I think it is high time someone put the BCCI in its place. They act as if they own world cricket ! For a fraction of the obscene amounts spent on the IPL , the ICL was almost as enjoyable and entertaining, thanks no less to the Lahore Badshahs. And now the BCCI have the temerity to make everything other than IPL a "rebel" affair ! Shame on you BCCI. don't tinker with the player's rights to their trade.

  • POSTED BY Ravikuruba on | June 17, 2008, 2:15 GMT

    Don't replace the word Cricket with Earnings, be it as professional game. This is going to spoil the culture on and off the field. Test Cricket neeb to be survived, as this is one format of the game where you can see the real stars. With the implementation of such a new(20-20) formts and with the offerings, Players feel comfartable with the earnings and the improvement cannot be seen in the players. Some may retire from playing to the nation as the player has got alternative. "Please save the CRICKET".

  • POSTED BY anmolcool on | June 13, 2008, 9:19 GMT

    ECB is going great . Cricket is evolving. IPL was good ,ICL was good and Stanford will also sure be. But, we all want IPL to shed its arrogance and grant ICL legal sanction and understand it can also have competitors . At last I say that cricket is the best game.

  • POSTED BY The_Wog on | June 13, 2008, 1:05 GMT

    At the risk of being the first to mention the sub-prime crisis on Cricinfo, what it did tell us is that people overpaying big $ usually ends in tears for a lot more people than just the culprits. Either $100m is a fair price, in which case they are planning on extracting $100m somehow, or it's a silly price that will have unforeseen fallout when they lose it.

  • POSTED BY SilentThunder on | June 12, 2008, 22:31 GMT

    It seems to me that Allen Stanford is only trying to boost his ego by being the one to offer the biggest prize for a cricket game. I guess we do not have all the information but I cannot see how those matches will benefit West Indies cricket. What is needed is a strong development program in the WI that will harness the raw potential of our youths and help them to mature into test material. That money would have been better spent on establishing a cricket academy or reviving the one that was started by the St. George's University in Grenada. Why not open academies in the different territories? The main reason for the demise of the Shell Academy was the lack of sponsorship and here is US$100 being spent on 5 games. Another project could be the establishment of a professional league that would involve more players than currently are involved in the domestic competition. Why not have a professional league where teams can buy players from other islands?

  • POSTED BY SANDIPANROY on | June 12, 2008, 20:21 GMT

    A couple of things that I am just wondering about. Firstly, the quality of talent currently existing in the pool of players for England & West Indies is nothing great to write home about. In the IPL tournament, IPL franchises managed to have drafted some world-class players. plus a bunch of young "thoroughbred" cricketers of India have shown a lot of talent and promise. Secondly, let's wait and see how the caste of Modis, Powars, Shahs, et all reacts. So far, they haven't made one iota comment unlike the way they went hard at ICL.

  • POSTED BY SummerofGeorge on | June 12, 2008, 19:11 GMT

    The people comparing this farrago with football are missing two clear points. As a football fan, i can speak from personal experience, and from many other sources, that the current state of the game, awash with money and fatuous television deals, and glory hunting faux fans, is a source of ceaseless disgruntlement to anyone who actually cares about the game. It hasn't helped football, it has made a lot of people very very rich, but meant the actual development of the sport has suffered away from the harsh light of the big clubs and their media sauna, and made prices rocket to a point where the old school fan can barely afford to attend. Secondly, football as a sport is still 90 minutes, 11 vs 11, the fundamental nature of the contest hasn't been altered, T20 takes cricket inexorably closer to Baseball each time, as sure as the walls of the trash compactor in Star Wars came in, as sure as boundary ropes do the same. my enjoyment is not increased by the players financial benefits.

  • POSTED BY shvenko on | June 12, 2008, 18:51 GMT

    Imagine the standard of cricket IPL gave! Who could have not relished the last ball finish for the tournament! Who could have not felt proud of a weakling murdering the kings and knights as a unit! Now that was quality cricket! Who said IPL was all of money! I personally believe that this was a good platform for youngsters all over the world! See, we got Ojha,Gony,Chawla,Yo Mahesh,Dhawan,Y Pathan flaunting their talent against the biggies! Now they didn't get paid much of IPL! Only the heavy weights and the hyped one's got it! These guys came out shining! Shaun Marsh was a classic, Watson was called back, Tanvir was simply outstanding! Could you have ever seen Dravid bat like a manic? Could you have ever seen Tanvir cheered like super star in Chennai? Who could have felt better than Shane Warne who captained and marched the team lowest investment to the top notch? Stop blaming IPL you critics! It got the best out of the young and upcoming, and was a big energizer for the smart and experience!

  • POSTED BY shvenko on | June 12, 2008, 18:35 GMT

    Hey this is funny! I think this is a very very desperate attempt made by the ECB to revive its cricket! Blame it on their players! They just cant play good cricket! They are not entertaining enough! 20$ for 5 matches ?? This is lame! It would have served better reviving the stadias and the clubs of Windies! Wake up guys! Just look at it! Its a desperate act by Stanford to take the game to USA! Not for the sport! He doesn't know cricket! He is just a business man who gets his money in! Its just dumb! Its good for the county, yeah! But if the county guys get hold of such money! They would never come back! They would start living on interest! Sorry to say this! Indeed IPL had loopholes ! But only big names or potentially big names got big money! IPL prize money was sort of ok! Imagine how they had to play,live every ball they were in the pitch! they thoroughly deserve that! But this Stanford is spoiling a good bunch of upcoming Lara's and Botham's ! Accept it ECB !

  • POSTED BY banglafan on | June 12, 2008, 17:18 GMT

    With a portion of the money spent on the "legal" IPL, the people living in the squalor of Mumbai's slums could get clean water for a change.

    Money has ruined the chastity of the game, and we all know who is to blame.

  • POSTED BY banglafan on | June 12, 2008, 17:09 GMT

    I think it is high time someone put the BCCI in its place. They act as if they own world cricket ! For a fraction of the obscene amounts spent on the IPL , the ICL was almost as enjoyable and entertaining, thanks no less to the Lahore Badshahs. And now the BCCI have the temerity to make everything other than IPL a "rebel" affair ! Shame on you BCCI. don't tinker with the player's rights to their trade.

  • POSTED BY soajay on | June 12, 2008, 16:12 GMT

    BCCI, IPL and now Standford!!! Come on guys, I agree these three entities have helped to get players like Ojha, Gony and others into limelight. But we cannot stop looking at the game from just an entertainer's perspective. We cannot forget the adverse effects of huge amount of money, flowing into the game in such a short span of time. If these boards and businessmen really love the game, please do something for the grass root players. Get the domestic cricket structure of countries like India, West Indies, Pakistan and others up to an international standard. Please guys don't let the game go into dumps otherwise it wont be long that there will be an NGO with an advertisement and banners saying, "PLEASE SAVE TEST CRICKET!!!".

  • POSTED BY Amam on | June 12, 2008, 14:44 GMT

    Why is BCCI not opposing now ? What is the difference between ICL and stanford ? Isn't BCCI being arrogant and depriving lots of budding Indian talent (whom we saw in display in ICL) from wearing India colours?

  • POSTED BY delboy on | June 12, 2008, 14:28 GMT

    Cricket will eventually become somewhat similar to the proverbial goldfish swimming in a bowl. Players playing in empty stadia or for the benefit of those who can subscribe to media carrying the highlights. So much money is being poured in by Mr Stanford the powers that be just as with their regular sponsors can then set ticket prices so high in the knowledge that they have already made their money and do not care whether or not the paying public come to watch. This money should be spent at grassroots level, expand the game to Costa Rica and the rest of south and latin america to develop greater involvement in the region allowing the the existing countries that make up the WI to have more games over time and a league structure.. Sixteen teams in the region would overtime provide more cricket during the domestic season.

  • POSTED BY Rampsfan on | June 12, 2008, 11:46 GMT

    Without question 50 overs helped save cricket from 1960s bore death, and now 20 overs will do the same. Remember the playstation next generation facing cyberspeed distractions daily, then consider The Oval last night was sold out and will be again on Friday - that can only be good in the fight against 2 hr football or basketball taking over the whole year. Viva Stanford and his Papal patronage, by getting West Indies pre-teens & teens excited he will have single-handedly turned around the fortunes of a great cricketing force which the game needs !

  • POSTED BY SANZStar on | June 12, 2008, 11:41 GMT

    Can I pick 10 "mates" probably make a duck or a few streaky fours,and possibly walk off with a million! Would be nice to sacrifice 3 hours for the chance!

  • POSTED BY madpiper on | June 12, 2008, 11:19 GMT

    $100 million to watch England & West Indies cricket. Hope it does now turn out to be the farce which was World Cup 2007.....boring, drab affair. England can't play cricket.....neither can West Indies.

  • POSTED BY gloriouscricket on | June 12, 2008, 11:14 GMT

    How can you criticize a man, not born in the cricketing nations of the globe, yet possesses the courage, the faith to make such a move? Mr. Stanford is A Visionary; He is a winner,he is the head, not the tail, he is immeasurably bless; Therefore he is giving back. We owe him our thanks, our continuous support. Isn't this what cricket lovers and business minded people have been waiting for? Blessings upon that man SANFORD.

  • POSTED BY Jasmeet on | June 12, 2008, 9:59 GMT

    What does Stanford get out of it? Why is he spending so much money on West Indies (and England)? Is this charity? One match winner-takes-all is not a good idea. The losing team will start to disintegrate very quickly. Out all this shebang there will be 3 main losers becoming extinct: ODIs, Tests and Bowlers. When T20 takes really hold (it's already started) we won't need any bowlers we will have bowling machines and have only T20s. There are 5 parties to blame for all this ECB (creating T20), ICC (T20 World Cup), Stanford (Stanford 20/20), Zee Network (ICL) and, BCCI (IPL). 20/20 is all about the money and not cricket. Not all innovations are good.

  • POSTED BY Izaan_XI on | June 12, 2008, 9:56 GMT

    The fact that the England XI will get a different compensation from the rest of the squad, if England win, might create dressing room dissatisfaction over the selection of the final XI. Lets face it getting a million bucks for playing 40 overs of cricket is insane and can cause unhealthy rivalry within any team.

  • POSTED BY bkempster on | June 12, 2008, 8:22 GMT

    With regard to the comments about there being nothing for the losers, this is simply the American way - they love a winner and winners are rewarded. In this way, Stanford can therefore market the game (cricket) into the USA in a way that the US public can understand - T20 is as close to baseball as cricket will ever get and they don't have to try to understand the intricacies of the test match game. Frankly, I don't want them to either. If they want to get behind T20, then fine, but so long as the various traditional test match boards continue to see test cricket as the ultimate form of the game, then both formats can survive alongside each other.

    I also don't see that this will encourage children / youngsters to excel at anything other than T20 - how can anyone believe that a kid will try to be really, really good over 5 days for about £5k, when they can be half decent at T20 and earn $1m.

  • POSTED BY mattew on | June 12, 2008, 8:04 GMT

    People who criticizing IPL & Twenty20 game. They don't know cricket is gentlemen game but as time goes every body in world have to move as time. People should need to think yourself why football is famous in all over the world why football is number one game or highest number of crowd watching football. So answers is there twenty 20 cricket will bring another era into cricket and bring more & more crowd into ground or at home to watch cricket. I heard some people said some players or organizers earning lot of money or money bonanza they don't know how much players earning in one football league like English premier league and they should need to see only critiano Ronaldo per week salary that's answer is there 140000 pounds every week. Twenty 20 cricket and league's will makes cricket watchable not bore to see test cricket were not an result after 5 days play.

  • POSTED BY r_josula on | June 12, 2008, 7:49 GMT

    This is probably the stupidest thing I have ever seen/heard of. Why can't the English be happy or atleast accept the fact that other countries can have great competitions. The IPL has proven to be the biggest thing in T20 cricket and its a huge success of global proportions. This competition with $20m a game and only 5 games? Seems extremely stupid. It will probably be the most useless investment in world history.

  • POSTED BY robheinen on | June 12, 2008, 7:30 GMT

    Gradually one begins to wonder what made the South African an Indian boards respectively decline the offer Allan Stanford has made them. Perhaps too many strings attached? it is worth investigating.

  • POSTED BY Anujm on | June 12, 2008, 7:15 GMT

    I see a lot of people and true fans of the game concerned with commercialization of cricket by Stanford and IPL - with the money spoiling the essence and spirit of the game etc. I think die hard fans need not worry! Ultimately what will prevail will be decided by the market and economics of all this which is nothing but what the fans want - which by definition cant be bad. And in that respect that is where cricket is headed. Some readers are viewing IPL and Standford series in the same (-ve) light. I disagree. IPL is much better in the sense it is a league and gives young players chance, hope and get a pay check and subsequently develop them. It will have huge fan following and sponsors 'cause of demographics. Whereas Standford we will see the "established" players on both sides in a one off match - not good to develop the game. I am not sure it will be a good return of investment either - given lesser fans in UK and WI and hard for fans to identify with. It is more like prof. boxing.

  • POSTED BY ParamIyer on | June 12, 2008, 5:47 GMT

    Ha haa...I am laughing after reading this. Now what are all those English critics going to say when their own cricket board has agreed to T20 only for sake of the millions. They criticized the IPL saying that it was destroying Test Matches and that lot of people are being paid money they do not deserve ! Do they have any explanation why each player of the winning team gets 1M $. Thats an absurd prize money and the competition is not even top class. Its just show business and goes to show that the ego of ECB has been hurt very very badly ;-)

  • POSTED BY jamrith on | June 12, 2008, 5:45 GMT

    Why such a lopsided prize package. Why not allot at-least US$5 million to the losers so they don't go away empty-handed after having done their best. Sharing $7 million betwenn the 2 boards doesn't really cut it because the money may not find its way to the players involved.

  • POSTED BY joshilay on | June 12, 2008, 5:29 GMT

    I am big fan of Test Cricket when its played at the highest level. Meaning that I am proud t call myself a purist. But that doesn't mean that I just shun of other versions of cricket too. See, our game has just begun to understand the value of money cricket can gather from different avenues, as in these cases, IPL and Stanford's visions. Our game is being taken forward. Why is every1 making a hue and cry of some cricketeers making gud money which otehrs can't even dream of. Just go with the flow which our game is going through. All the formats should be abel to survive together. All of them have there own meaning and audiences. So let it be. Having said this though I would like to suggest though, that money being spent like this is not a problem, but the players should be given more rest periods and it should be seen that the rest periods should not be also filled up with tournaments; just like the dumb series which is now going in Bangaldesh.Players are not just MONEY making machines.

  • POSTED BY JohnnyRook on | June 12, 2008, 5:23 GMT

    I find it strange that people are criticizing Stanford for pumping money into T20 and not like Tests. Anybody who has issues is more than welcome to go earn a billion dollars and pump a lot of money into tests and criticize the T20. Why the whine....

  • POSTED BY DMPK on | June 12, 2008, 4:36 GMT

    There is everything in 20/20 -- money, women, crowds, noise, hysteric commentators -- save CRICKET.

  • POSTED BY masumaman on | June 12, 2008, 4:07 GMT

    I love it, it is a perfect answer for West Indies's omission from Champions League. These matches will break all records about money with cricket. Now the South African board and the Indian board are really thinking that why did not they accept. It is a perfect answer for Lalit Modi, whose nose is too high that he wont let play the ICL cricketers. Stanford u rock man and as a West Indian supporter, i am proud about the things that u are doing. All of us West Indian supporters would like to see West Indies rise to what it was 20 years back. The way money was poured into IPL, something was needed for West Indies. Thank You Stanford.

  • POSTED BY BrianCharlesVivek on | June 12, 2008, 3:52 GMT

    Its good to hear that the West Indies players would benefit so much by this competition. This should hopefully motivate young cricketers in the Caribbean to opt for cricket. When players from other countries earn so much, why not WI and Eng players????Good move Stanford.

  • POSTED BY Perfect_gent on | June 12, 2008, 3:20 GMT

    As a young cricketer aspiring to be a professional in the near future, I am truly shocked by the level of ignorance express on this blog. Not only does this (investment in 20/20) acts as major attraction to young athletes but simultaneously enables cricket to compete with other world sports. I can guarantee you any lover of the longer version of the game will see massive improvement when they visit a 4 or 5 day match (infact I truly hope the ignorant ones aren't in any way accountable for the decline of the attendance stats for the longer format in recent times).

    P.S: Cricket on the rise!!! Get with the times!!!

  • POSTED BY Breathe000 on | June 12, 2008, 2:56 GMT

    The IPL had a purpose for all you haters. Not only did it entertain, it educated and exposed the youngsters of Indian cricket to the international level. However I don't see Stanfords proposal as having any purpose at all. As mentioned in the article, this is a method of getting the English players minds of the money and extravanza provided by the IPL. Good luck 'chaps', Cricket is now as commercial as before.

  • POSTED BY MaxHurst on | June 12, 2008, 2:36 GMT

    Stanford has made history. Cricket has had to overcome many hurdles, including the legacy of racism and colonialism. It has taught many lessons to the West Indian people, including their superior civility and mastery of the game over their British colonizers. The phenomenon of the prized athlete, so common in the USA and other developed states, is now making its way from Antigua (via Texas) into London; not the other way round. We welcome it and pray that the West Indian players will trounce England again and again now that incentives need not be procured in English County Cricket. What is taking place goes beyond a boundary, again.

  • POSTED BY Sanya on | June 12, 2008, 2:15 GMT

    Personally, I feel that Twenty-20 cricket is shit & I didn't like IPL at all. Even some cricketers said that they shouldn't have been sold like that. Cricketers shouldn't have been sold like fishes in the fish market. I know that Kevin Peitersen expressed his desire to play IPL but he is not the kind of cricketer who would play for money. He has been rich all his life. Even his wife Jessica is rich. Imagine yourself as an English cricket, when all the players were playing IPL, you were sitting out watching! The one thing good about IPL is that players get to play with players of different countries. Also, the players who had never worn National colours came into the sight of selectors. I am quite fond of Test cricket but there are some people who like Twenty-20 cricket. When you come to think of it, it might not be good for the game but it's good for cricketers & some spectators. By the way, English players will play in the IPL from next year.

  • POSTED BY unknown-28 on | June 12, 2008, 2:06 GMT

    It all started with T20 leagues in Austrilia, England, SA, and the Stanford 20/20 tournament. Then T20 world cup took center stage... The T20 craze bigens... ICL was introduced... BCCI took them as a rebal league and brought in IPL as an answer... "The Champions League" is now on schedule... Now Allen Stanford sets up this T20 winner take all games... What next??... T20 is taking over the game of cricket... and with the amount of T20 cricket beign played... and the amount upfor grabs in these tournaments... it wont be a suprise if player are more intrested in playing in one of these leagues rather than their country... also it can be asked... IS THERE ENOUGH SPACE IN A GIVEN YEAR TO FIT ALL THESE TOURNAMENTS AND INTERNATIONAL CRICKET??

  • POSTED BY Groundhog on | June 12, 2008, 1:55 GMT

    So, according to Cricinfo, when IPL does it, it is obscene , but when ECB does it, it is ok for Cricinfo. Double standards, I say!

  • POSTED BY Busta_Mantee on | June 12, 2008, 1:48 GMT

    Oh wow.

    Stanford only has cricket at heart. All of this money comes out of HIS pocket.

    As for trying to get the US involved, he spent 1-3 million on advertising in a SINGLE town in Missouri(?).

  • POSTED BY shirazu on | June 12, 2008, 1:17 GMT

    This is an incredibly awesome spectacle. Who cares about what happens to cricket, 1 million bucks per player, in a sport where some of the players don't even make 100k/yr, riding on the outcome of a 3 hour match? That is something I have to see. Even people who have never heard of cricket (Americans) would tune in to this, which may be the point, although I doubt it gets televised here.

  • POSTED BY Hassan.Farooqi on | June 12, 2008, 1:02 GMT

    Absolute nonsense! What Mr. Stanford should do, is to start Carribean Premier League and with a frenchise in each Island plus Houston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Toronto, and Vancouver. A total of 20 teams would give it a cooler name, "Twenty Twenty with Twenty (teams) for Twenty (million dollars)".

    Hassan Farooqi

  • POSTED BY jonnychan on | June 12, 2008, 0:27 GMT

    Doesn't matter, what Stanford is doing. Majority of the players will be just from England and West Indies. English watch Soccer more than Cricket, Stanford 20-20 will not generate money in England, at least not as much compared to IPL in India, Pakistan and Australia. West Indies love cricket as much as Indians do, but thats not enough for the success of a competition involving this much money.

    IPL's success is more because of the masala behind the game (SRK, Preity, Hritik's involvement, anthems for teams, bollywood style), not the game itself. I wonder if Stanford 20-20 has these factors to stimulate audience to watch the game.

  • POSTED BY abhat1 on | June 11, 2008, 23:51 GMT

    Are you guys kidding me? This is an incredibly good thing. Why do we always have the same repetitive arguments like "oh test cricket will get hurt", "oh man cricketers make too much money". Chill out. Cricketers deserve to make a lot of money - not because they are great human beings, but because it is great for the game. Kids growing up in places like England, South Africa, Australia, NZL will realize that when it comes to monetary compensations, cricket is as good, if not better than most sports in the world, including football (soccer). Cricket's popularity will only go UP due to such ridiculous sums of money being lobbed at it.

    Just look on the bright side...for once...

  • POSTED BY Manoj1234 on | June 11, 2008, 22:50 GMT

    Nothing wrong if the madman wants to put 100mil on 5 games. Let the cricketers make money andb maybe now England won;t be jealous of us (india) anymore not that they have a 20-20 sugar daddy of their own.

    The main problem will be sustenance. IPL spent millions of dollars but got us 100's of hrs of entertainment and is looked forward to next year. I'm not sure I understand spending all this on 1 game. Money has to come but with entertainment and an audience and also with a good business model. Not sure if this guy has any of those to offer. Manoj

  • POSTED BY sekharbobba on | June 11, 2008, 22:34 GMT

    we can't compare ipl with Stanford. ipl was the domestic competitions and this is just a match played for money , there is nothing they can get from this except money. this is just business,from ipl we got so many young players for the future.a bussiness man like stanford should not be allowed to make bussiness on a cricket pitch.ecb is just worried that their players would play ipl and their cricket would be neglected.

  • POSTED BY Bazi on | June 11, 2008, 21:33 GMT

    Absolute non-sense. That's not cricket. Thats absurdity esp the way the prize money is supposed to be given or rather divided. it reeks.

    .Bazi.

  • POSTED BY kingofspain on | June 11, 2008, 20:44 GMT

    Eventually it has to matter that 20/20 is completely lacking in any substance, it's totally random. There's no "there" there.

  • POSTED BY danish_tahir87 on | June 11, 2008, 20:31 GMT

    IPL started it and there is alot more to come. This is daunitng cricket. Indians are not the best team in the world. They have never dominated the world cricket by their victories but they are dominating now just by their money similarly West Indies has been a weak unit for more then a decade and a buisness man belonging to Carribean wants to do the same. events like IPL and stanford should be banned. They are disguisting cricket. Indian board will not be getting much things from their national team so they just wants to make more money from disastreous leagues.

  • POSTED BY CricketPlayer on | June 11, 2008, 19:59 GMT

    Isn't wind direction an important factor in a Cricket match? Obviously, money happens to be the most important aspect of the "king-of-games" today, like most others, despite the geographic characteristics. Shouldn't "Stanford 20/20" pay heed to its own backyard's sleeping-giant of sports-loving economic superpower (founded by George Washington), at least as a second preference henceforth? It's never too late when any advancement comes in to play, no matter what?

  • POSTED BY tbc1 on | June 11, 2008, 18:21 GMT

    I'm profoundly uncomfortable with this, on several grounds. Firstly, the ECB ought not to have consorted with a figure who deems test cricket an anachronism, let alone handed him a central role in the future of cricket. Moreover, given how cricketers such as KP have agitated to play in the IPL simply due to money involved, the implications a "winner takes all" match with the sums involved upon player relationships could prove telling.

    I would, however, question why cricket necessarily requires commercialisation. It's appeal has never been, and should not be, its capacity to provide immediate gratification and thrill analagous to football, basketball or their ilk. The appeal of cricket has rather been the obvious sophistication required to participate, and watch with any reall appreciation, and in denying this, I fear the ECB has given undue respect and attention to the vernacular sensibilties of the average sport watcher. Pathetic, naked commercialism, and nothing more.

  • POSTED BY JCrao on | June 11, 2008, 18:19 GMT

    Definitely YES, we never had the wealth of bowlers like Gony / ohja / mishra ... so on. Now they performed on the big stage consistantly and are ready for the indian team spot. Without these leagues, they might never got a chance to show what they have. And even in batting dept, we have so many rising start now, as the time progress we will definitely see more and more young talent coming to IPL -> indian team. (previously when zaheer khan / xyz is injured we never had options, we are always a bowler short ... which is not the case now)

  • POSTED BY soajay on | June 11, 2008, 17:54 GMT

    People like Stanford, Modi, BCCI and other boards are not concerned with the growth of the game. What they are bothered abt is their own pockets. I hate this. Come on, who gave you the right to play with the feelings and emotions of fans like us. We watch cricket religiously. We die to watch that inswinging delivery from Wasim Akram, a perfect Straight Drive from Sachin's bat, the dancing down of Sidhu when Shane Warne is bowling, the accuracy of Glenn McGrath and the list continues. Stanford, Modi and everyone associated with just making money from the game, just watch out. Come on readers, its time to act and save our game from being sold like prostitutes on the road. The auction of IPL was like a prostitute was being bought off the street. Ganguly and Dhoni's are worshipped in houses and it was a shame seeing our idols being sold. Stanford is doing no different and is hurting the game to the core.

  • POSTED BY cricketrulesdaworld on | June 11, 2008, 17:51 GMT

    Reading through the comments here, I find that many of us are concerned about Test cricket. Many think Stanford is ridiculous or that this (IPL and now Stanford) is creating a novelty beyond reasonable proportions. But look at the bright side. Yes, players make more money now and that WICB and ECB will get richer. But thats only good. When did WICB see this kind of money (3.5 Mil for every game Stanford makes them play).This only makes the sport richer and can compete with some of the other sports played around the world. If at all there is any concern, its that the money pumping started a bit too late. The popularity of the sport should grow and players should get paid more. No one complains about a $42 M deal for 5 or 7 years for a player in American baseball. Look at the miserable life the cricketers lead (Marcus Trescothik comes to my mind immediately). Constant travelling, climatic differences and staying away from family. they deserve this raise.

  • POSTED BY Geoff_A on | June 11, 2008, 17:47 GMT

    At a time when Footballer's command ridiculous salaries why should cricket be left behind? The money/excitement that this could generate will spark interest in the game and perhaps talented kids will look to the glamour of cricket rather than just football. With money going to the ECB as well as to the players the money goes back into the game as a whole. 20/20 isn't everyone's cup of tea but if the money can be spent improving facilities and coaching then we may stand a chance of winning the ashes on a more regular basis; and at the end of the day that's pretty much all that matters :)

  • POSTED BY soajay on | June 11, 2008, 17:47 GMT

    A request to Standford, IPL, BCCI, ECB or any other cricket boards, please stop filling your own pockets!! Its time that we think of getting the game to a competitive level. We want a Test Cricket World Championship. 20-20 is a good form of cricket that can be played over a weekend, but as they say too much of anything is not good. Similarly, we need to stick to the basics and that is Test Cricket and ODI's. A humble request to all boards, stop filling your own pockets. Let there be a 6 weeks calendar for 20-20 and the rest of the year for pure cricket.

  • POSTED BY Harvey on | June 11, 2008, 17:45 GMT

    The ECB joins the WICB in the clutches of their puppetmaster. Exciting times ahead for lovers of Twenty20. Dark clouds on the horizon for lovers of cricket. The kind of money Stanford's putting into this makes sense only if his plans go WAY beyond a few exhibition games like these.

  • POSTED BY ArifAttar on | June 11, 2008, 17:20 GMT

    Are they getting paid for taking part in Mr. Stanford's personal pleasure? Who's going to watch? What's the revenue model?

  • POSTED BY BensMen on | June 11, 2008, 17:01 GMT

    wonder if this will really stop the english players from wanting to play in the IPL....all of this leads to a confrontation between stanford and modi, with cricket right in the middle of it...

  • POSTED BY RahulNEHRU on | June 11, 2008, 16:58 GMT

    Absolutley Ridiculous...

    It seems these days that cricket has become a novelty. The ICC Twenty20 World cup was a huge success undoubtedly; then started the rebel ICL league; followed by the Stanford 20-20 and the DLF IPL! Twenty20 cricket should take a break rather than being an over-hyped-up fashion show.

    It seems as if Allen Stanford has seen the success of the IPL and the inclusion of Yusuf Pathan, Pragyan Ojha and Mapreet Gony in the Indian Team and has decided that he wants some of this action. At the rate that T20 cricket is developing and is being overhyped, it seems that one day, having been bored of T20, youngsters may just be attracted by - what these days is described as being 'flavourless' - test cricket.

    Mr Modi and Mr Stanford, I agree that these comptetitions will gain a larger fanbase for cricket, however, it's fair to say that T20 is a game of hand-eye co-ordination; Dravid and VVS Laxman batting the Indians out of trouble against the Aussies, now thats pure cricket

  • POSTED BY h_kap on | June 11, 2008, 16:56 GMT

    It is a very good move, Stanford and ECB. ICC Monopoly on the game needs to go and FCUK BCCI. Rope in ICL as well as it looks for the betterment of the game rather than BIG CASH!!

  • POSTED BY RoyalChallenger on | June 11, 2008, 16:23 GMT

    Stanford is trying to compete with IPL. And the reason they chose England is because England is obviously the worst team in the world right now and winning against england would be easy for the all-stars team :). In short the money would stay in the west Indies since India or Australia wont be playing :). Brilliant idea!!!!

  • POSTED BY KG501Kent on | June 11, 2008, 16:17 GMT

    A few years back, Mark Ramprakash allegedly remarked to an umpire who had just given him out in what Mark thought to be dubious circumstances something along the lines of "You are mucking up my career."

    In the past, occasional wrong decisions by umpires, dropped catches and mis-fields by players, poor shots by batsmen and dubious team selections were not the be all and end all for cricketers. Now they might be.

    How much are the umpires being paid to make decisions that could cost individuals millions of pounds??

  • POSTED BY karthi52 on | June 11, 2008, 16:02 GMT

    very good move...but it needs to be for long term.not for only five years.what happens after five years.

  • POSTED BY 010100101 on | June 11, 2008, 15:55 GMT

    This could well signal the death of cricket.

    I see a future where the ECB and WICB under Stanford band together against the IPL and the BCCI, if this happens then gradually as with any two competing factions, tears will appear and relations will sour meaning that test odi and 20 20 internationals will suffer the Windies and England and all those nations who join them will shy away from playing the indians and affiliates. Its been on the cards for a while as the BCCI exercises its new power as heads of world cricket, worrying times lie ahead...

  • POSTED BY Sortedfella on | June 11, 2008, 15:53 GMT

    Grubby, vulgar and now he (Stanford) owns the game/franchise... regardless of those in his thrall/pay who stood up on tv lauding all this...Stanford himself repeated his view that test cricket is the past...and has zero interest in having any of his largess benefit the true form of the game. This isn't Packer (that was 'recovered' from), this is the beginning of the end.

    Clarke et al will be as much a part of the games history as WG, Bradman and the rest...the man who Faustus like sold a soul...tho it isn't/wasn't his to sell...

  • POSTED BY 22695700 on | June 11, 2008, 15:44 GMT

    this will create conflict amongst the plyers because if england looses a match due to catch drop by any player then that player has to face the anger of other players.

  • POSTED BY feelchillingfireflashes on | June 11, 2008, 15:28 GMT

    I don't believe the money is going to keep dictating things for a long time. Even in IPL, even though people were shaken apart by the amounts paid to the likes of Dhoni and Symonds, or for that matter, the money spent by Mumbai team owners. However, eventually it all slipped to the back with cricket taking a front role, and people remembering the likes of Shaun Marsh and Shane Watson more than Ishant Sharma.

    My only concern? what does this kind of leagues do for cricket? Can they help in raising the standards of cricket, or help in breeding new talent? I highly doubt so!

  • POSTED BY steve_halsall on | June 11, 2008, 15:18 GMT

    I wonder how this will affect the England players in Friday' otherwise pointless 20/20 against NZ. The result doesn't matter, of course, but the individual performances might be worth $1M. Will this make the batsmen more or less likely to slog the first ball?

  • POSTED BY Nathan_a on | June 11, 2008, 15:10 GMT

    It is the best thing. The game's sell out was ECB taking the game out of free to air tv. I hope some free to air tv shows this. This will attract new segments like women and the yuppies to cricket. Stanford could have included Australia into this tournament - which would have made it even better. Test cricket will not die - but will change and become more exciting. I dont think people would like to watch Boycott and Chris Tavare opening the batting and play for 80 overs and score 190 runs. We have seen very less draws but for weather and flat tracks. The money will bring in more kids coming to play cricket. Media will get more interested - unlike football,you get 40 over breaks (ad slots) and slots during fall of wickets.It could challenge football's supremacy in 20 years time. But if ECB wants to confine the sport only to a few rich people and maintain as an upper class sport then we cannot do anything.

  • POSTED BY techmine on | June 11, 2008, 14:59 GMT

    I love the competition. IPL is some way or the other will be affected by this initiative. I don't like monopolies and I don't want N. Modi to declare himself as the king pin of 20-20 league cricket. Even though I am an Indian, I don't want BCCI to be the governing body of world cricket.

  • POSTED BY JayPmorgan on | June 11, 2008, 14:52 GMT

    In terms of appeal, The two teams involved are not exactly the most box office. As a neutral I would not be excited by watching this set of matches as I have been watching the IPL. It seems to be a case of make hay while the sunshines as all these tournaments will not be able to sustain them in the long run. Even the Champions tournament that has been proposed is pointless as countries such as Pakistan haven been excluded. The reasons given for this is that the 20/20 game is not as developed there as in the proposed competing countries. Last time I looked Pakistan made the world cup final in this format. This is all about MONEY and how the power players : India (due to Money ) , Australia , England , SA (due to History) can make money at the detriment to others.

  • POSTED BY AbhijeetGupta on | June 11, 2008, 14:47 GMT

    Allen Stanford should be credited for taking a huge risk. I do have big doubts about its success on commercial level. But at least players recieve good money and thats what really matters. If he successfully pulls it off then every country can expect similar people to take up the 20-20 mantle in the future.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY AbhijeetGupta on | June 11, 2008, 14:47 GMT

    Allen Stanford should be credited for taking a huge risk. I do have big doubts about its success on commercial level. But at least players recieve good money and thats what really matters. If he successfully pulls it off then every country can expect similar people to take up the 20-20 mantle in the future.

  • POSTED BY JayPmorgan on | June 11, 2008, 14:52 GMT

    In terms of appeal, The two teams involved are not exactly the most box office. As a neutral I would not be excited by watching this set of matches as I have been watching the IPL. It seems to be a case of make hay while the sunshines as all these tournaments will not be able to sustain them in the long run. Even the Champions tournament that has been proposed is pointless as countries such as Pakistan haven been excluded. The reasons given for this is that the 20/20 game is not as developed there as in the proposed competing countries. Last time I looked Pakistan made the world cup final in this format. This is all about MONEY and how the power players : India (due to Money ) , Australia , England , SA (due to History) can make money at the detriment to others.

  • POSTED BY techmine on | June 11, 2008, 14:59 GMT

    I love the competition. IPL is some way or the other will be affected by this initiative. I don't like monopolies and I don't want N. Modi to declare himself as the king pin of 20-20 league cricket. Even though I am an Indian, I don't want BCCI to be the governing body of world cricket.

  • POSTED BY Nathan_a on | June 11, 2008, 15:10 GMT

    It is the best thing. The game's sell out was ECB taking the game out of free to air tv. I hope some free to air tv shows this. This will attract new segments like women and the yuppies to cricket. Stanford could have included Australia into this tournament - which would have made it even better. Test cricket will not die - but will change and become more exciting. I dont think people would like to watch Boycott and Chris Tavare opening the batting and play for 80 overs and score 190 runs. We have seen very less draws but for weather and flat tracks. The money will bring in more kids coming to play cricket. Media will get more interested - unlike football,you get 40 over breaks (ad slots) and slots during fall of wickets.It could challenge football's supremacy in 20 years time. But if ECB wants to confine the sport only to a few rich people and maintain as an upper class sport then we cannot do anything.

  • POSTED BY steve_halsall on | June 11, 2008, 15:18 GMT

    I wonder how this will affect the England players in Friday' otherwise pointless 20/20 against NZ. The result doesn't matter, of course, but the individual performances might be worth $1M. Will this make the batsmen more or less likely to slog the first ball?

  • POSTED BY feelchillingfireflashes on | June 11, 2008, 15:28 GMT

    I don't believe the money is going to keep dictating things for a long time. Even in IPL, even though people were shaken apart by the amounts paid to the likes of Dhoni and Symonds, or for that matter, the money spent by Mumbai team owners. However, eventually it all slipped to the back with cricket taking a front role, and people remembering the likes of Shaun Marsh and Shane Watson more than Ishant Sharma.

    My only concern? what does this kind of leagues do for cricket? Can they help in raising the standards of cricket, or help in breeding new talent? I highly doubt so!

  • POSTED BY 22695700 on | June 11, 2008, 15:44 GMT

    this will create conflict amongst the plyers because if england looses a match due to catch drop by any player then that player has to face the anger of other players.

  • POSTED BY Sortedfella on | June 11, 2008, 15:53 GMT

    Grubby, vulgar and now he (Stanford) owns the game/franchise... regardless of those in his thrall/pay who stood up on tv lauding all this...Stanford himself repeated his view that test cricket is the past...and has zero interest in having any of his largess benefit the true form of the game. This isn't Packer (that was 'recovered' from), this is the beginning of the end.

    Clarke et al will be as much a part of the games history as WG, Bradman and the rest...the man who Faustus like sold a soul...tho it isn't/wasn't his to sell...

  • POSTED BY 010100101 on | June 11, 2008, 15:55 GMT

    This could well signal the death of cricket.

    I see a future where the ECB and WICB under Stanford band together against the IPL and the BCCI, if this happens then gradually as with any two competing factions, tears will appear and relations will sour meaning that test odi and 20 20 internationals will suffer the Windies and England and all those nations who join them will shy away from playing the indians and affiliates. Its been on the cards for a while as the BCCI exercises its new power as heads of world cricket, worrying times lie ahead...

  • POSTED BY karthi52 on | June 11, 2008, 16:02 GMT

    very good move...but it needs to be for long term.not for only five years.what happens after five years.