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."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ramesh on February 22, 2009, 22:14 GMT

    The money that Stanford and his companies handed out to ECB, players in the tournament may be demanded to be returned by the lawyer/court trying to sort out the finances of Stanford. If it can be shown that Stanford misappropriated investors' money then money Stanford paid out even in legitimate transactions will be demanded back. The Stanford investors have the first rights to the money. As this article ( on the Madoff scam points out people who have taken Stanford checks and spent it may find it very painful.

  • Vibhore on February 21, 2009, 23:07 GMT

    So with all the counties pledging to return the "tainted" money from Stanford and with millions of Antiguans and hundreds of investors swindled out of the hard-earned money, are the West Indies cricketers who won the $1m each going to keep this money or return it? That is THE million dollar question.

  • SRINI on February 21, 2009, 19:40 GMT

    SunilBR spoke my mind! When IPL had started I had predicted it wd be just a matter of time that other countries wd do an imitation and England followed suit! A Texan championing cricket (even if it is the ba(lederda)sh of T20 was a bit uncanny and now we know... The flipside is that West Indian cricket which needs money badly is going to suffer :(

  • P Subramani on February 21, 2009, 12:30 GMT

    I am glad that the ECB have done the decent thing and scrapped the Stanford connection. It was bound to happen given the way 'Sir Allen ' went about trying to undermine the traditions of the game. His landing in a helicopter on the halowed turf of Lords was quite disgusting. That the ECB could even talk to someone who could push aside the Holy Grail of cricket, for money was very hard to believe. England have history and tradition and not just in cricket. Yet for the sake of money the ECB seemed to have become oblivious.The brashness of Lalit Modi notwithstanding, I think the IPL respects cricketing skills and is not about the accompanying glitter alone. No man, tycoon or otherwise has any business trying to demean the players who make the game in the manner he did not so long ago. Money is important for professional sportsmen I understand. But not at the cost of self respect. My congratulations to the ECB.

  • Sunil on February 21, 2009, 11:06 GMT

    I agree Modi was arrogant....but there's always a backlash. Until India became a financial force in cricket, I don't remember any English or Australian boards falling over each other to play India. It was always the Ashes and playing with the W Indies since they were the best team then and money was made in those matches. Wasn't that a colonial mind-set? All said and done, it was pure greed. I's a pity that the Windies board will suffer. But from what I can see, all the noise is coming from England. And wonder why is that? Is it because the attempts to counter IPL failed?

    As for 20-20, I've never been a great fan of any of the short versions of the game. There is only one game that's the true test-that's Test cricket. And we have seen some really good Test matches in the recent past. The last test between WIndies and England being a good example.

  • Raj on February 21, 2009, 7:55 GMT

    ECB's effort to negate India's dominance has fallen flat in the face. This is only gonna strengthen India's stand in world cricket. Lots of love :)

  • g on February 21, 2009, 3:52 GMT

    I am an Indian, but am pretty convinced that Clarke would have done this even if there wasn't an IPL. I don't see him doing this just to counter IPL at all. He seems more money-minded which was proven by scrapping of Channel 4's contract. Clarke should go even if Stanford was an angel. Clarke would only deteriorate English cricket.

  • Ryan on February 21, 2009, 1:33 GMT

    I was against Stanford and his antics from the start, and said as much on these pages, but at the time many said those of us who protested were 'living in the past' or being elitist.

    But now that we are where we are, I just want to add that I'm disappointed at the many gloating comments from Indian fans on this site. Yes, it was stupid to align with him, but our thoughts should be with cricket in the WI now. Cricket will always survive in England, but the money he injected into the WI made a real difference in my opinion.

    And 'ahweak', it wasn't just a matter of proving 'superiority'. It hasn't been easy for cricket boards dealing with the IPL, as Mr Modi came across as pretty arrogant himself in negotiations. For those of us who prefer test cricket the idea of players being unavailable for tests was a real concern - as you would be if it was based elsewhere in the world. I'm glad the IPL has been successful for you, but Stanford is not the last billionaire to go under, wait and see.

  • prudence on February 21, 2009, 1:12 GMT

    this scandal is not good for the game of cricket all cricket board should cut ties with this Stanford Organisation

  • Philip on February 21, 2009, 0:28 GMT

    Please drop the post-colonial paranoia ahweak. The ECB was not "pursuing activities to prove its superiority", it was just trying to make what it thought the best available deal. It screwed up. It would have been better if it had not invented Twenty20 in the first place. The vulgarisation of cricket makes me wish I didn't have an emotional attachment to the sport, and could just concentrate on golf instead, which is free from this sort of racial politics. Even when there was a conflict between the European and Asian tours, the Asians didn't cry racism or make snide references to the Empire, they accepted that it was simply a commercial dispute. Why can't Asian cricket administrators and fans behave the same way?

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