The Stanford meltdown February 20, 2009

ECB terminates Stanford contracts

Cricinfo staff

It's off: England will play no more games organised by Allen Stanford © Getty Images
The ECB has decided to terminate, with immediate effect, its contracts with the Stanford group. That means it will not participate in any further Stanford Twenty20 matches in Antigua or the Stanford-sponsored international quadrangular Twenty20 events in England.

But the announcement failed to appease the continuing pressure on Giles Clarke, the board's chairman, and David Collier, the chief executive, and revelations in the Daily Telegraph that the ECB was warned to tighten its operating standards before signing the Stanford deal will hardly help them. It also revealed only Clarke and Collier had access to the details of the Stanford contract.

"The ECB was shocked by the charges filed against the Stanford organisation and personnel earlier this week by the SEC," Collier said after a meeting at Lord's. "Within minutes of the announcement, the ECB determined to suspend any further discussions with Stanford and the board has now agreed to terminate the ECB's agreements with Stanford.

"Given the uncertainty of the financial markets and the sponsorship dispute between Digicel and the West Indies Cricket Board over the matches in Antigua in 2008, the executive committee and board, when setting the 2009 budgets, took a prudent position in creating a contingency in case the Antigua matches did not proceed," he said. "For that reason, ECB was able to confirm immediately … there would be no impact on fee payments in 2009."

But for many the move is too little, too late. "More and more allegations are going to be made about Stanford as every day passes," said Leicestershire chairman Neil Davidson. "The link with the ECB is always going to be there. Giles has got to fall on his sword."