Allen Stanford fallout February 19, 2009

Stanford 'dirty money' concerns counties

Cricinfo staff

Allen Stanford shares a joke with Giles Clarke last June © Getty Images
Rod Bransgrove, the outspoken chairman of Hampshire, has suggested that the first-class counties hand back the £18,000 they each received as a result of England's participation in the Stanford 20/20 for 20. His comments come in the aftermath of serious charges levelled against Stanford and his financial empire in the USA.

Bransgrove told the Guardian that there were "moral issues" involved in accepting the money. "When you take ill-gotten gains it leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth. You have to put it in context … thousands of people could be damaged by the actions of this man if the charges are upheld."

In the US, it has emerged that Stanford gave millions in political donations, and many of the recipients have already stated that anything received from him will be either returned or passed to charity.

Asked if Hampshire would be doing likewise, Bransgrove stopped short of saying he would, merely saying that he felt "sullied" in having been paid it. "The game will have to address and debate the moral issue."

His opinions were supported by Lancashire chairman Jim Cumbes. "If the money's come by dubious means, it's something to think about. Socially and morally he's right. Ethically it might be fine for us to keep it, but ethically it might not. We were told we would also get an awful lot more money over the next few years because of the deal. But we hadn't budgetted for it because we were treating it as a bonus if it came."

And Durham's David Harker told the Guardian that "if it's proven that the money is ill-gotten gains, then it's not something we'd want to be party to".