Stanford 20/20 for 20

Stanford deal will continue - Collier

Cricinfo staff

December 21, 2008

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David Collier has allayed fears that the quadrangular tournament involving Stanford might be cancelled © Getty Images
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The ECB's chief executive, David Collier, has again insisted that despite Allen Stanford's contractual issues with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), the quadrangular tournament between the Stanford All-Stars and England will be going ahead next year.

Last week Stanford, the Texan billionaire who bankrolled the Stanford 20/20 for 20, disbanded his board of legends and there were concerns that he was about to pull the plug on his relationship with cricket altogether.

Collier, who spoke of the "treasured" relationship between the ECB and Stanford, reaffirmed that the five-year deal - worth £11.4 million - will go ahead.

"Clearly there were a number of well-published contractual issues with the West Indies Cricket Board which Allen Stanford referred to in his statements before this year's Stanford Super Series - and clearly they have got to be resolved before we return to Antigua next year," Collier told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme. "But Sir Allen also made a big play of the fact that the matches in the quadrangular [tournament] will go ahead at Lord's this summer. That will be at the end of May, immediately prior to the Twenty20 World Cup in England.

"He also says he treasures the relationship he has developed with the ECB and wishes to continue to work with us, particularly regarding the quadrangular series. There were some contractual issues with the West Indies board and their sponsors. They have to be resolved to go forwards, and I am sure they will be working very hard on those in the near future.

"The two events in Antigua and the UK are inter-linked, so we would not expect one to go ahead normally without the other. The two matches feed off each other really well, and we hope they will be able to go ahead for a number of years."

Stanford's problem with West Indies cricket appears to be with Digicel, the West Indies' main sponsors, who were accused by the Stanford 20/20 for 20 organisers of "bullying" tactics. The matter threatened to derail the tournament in Antigua before a "commercial agreement" compromise was reached at the eleventh hour, but it is clear that the issue remains a sticking point between the two parties, albeit one which appears not to threaten Stanford's relationship with the England board.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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