Stanford and the WAGs October 30, 2008

Girl trouble

ESPNcricinfo staff
Allen Stanford was caught on camera getting rather close to some of the England players' partners

Ladies man: Stanford gets himself some gal pals © Sky Sports

"One of the wives of the England players nearby said she cringed when she saw what was happening and another onlooker said it was 'hide behind the sofa time' because it was so unbearable to watch."
Stephen Brenkley recounts the horror in the Independent

"When the pictures came up on the big screen there were a lot of gobsmacked people in our side. Matt Prior was in state of total shock, especially as his wife is pregnant."
Stuart Broad tells it like he saw it

"The mind boggles at what might happen when Stanford, brash Texan entrepreneur, comes face to face with the MCC and all its history… Will he sit in the pavilion and perch one of the members, complete with bacon-and- egg tie, on his knee? Now that really would be an image to behold."
The Daily Mail's Paul Newman lets his imagination run wild

"We went to bed laughing about it. He phoned KP and Prior to apologise, and it's water under the bridge. I don't think there was any genuine 'Let's go home and not play' feeling."
Graeme Swann, who incidentally didn't bring his wife to Antigua

"The Stanford Wives!"
Pithy as ever, the Sun captures it all in a headline

"It was pretty harmless, to be honest, and the wives must remember that their husbands are potentially earning a fortune by being here and they are in a lovely place having a lovely time in the sunshine. If the man who is putting up all the money wants to give them a quick cuddle for the cameras is that really a big problem?"
Nasser Hussain takes the pragmatic view in a newspaper column

"If that was my wife he'd put on his lap I would have wanted to punch him."
An unnamed English player puts himself in another's shoes

"Allen Stanford hasn't travelled much on British public transport, so perhaps the Texan billionaire was simply confused about etiquette when he invited the wife of the England wicketkeeper to sit on his lap... Perhaps an aide told him to offer the pregnant woman a seat and, not understanding that he had to rise, Stanford played the role of Southern Gent, spreading his legs and patting his thigh to offer her a perch."
Patrick Kidd plays devil's advocate in the Times

"He understood that the players were not particularly pleased with the incident and as a result of that he apologised." A Stanford spokesperson states the obvious

"The ECB has pawned the national team off for little more than a rich man's ego trip. English cricket has become Stanford's WAG."
Michael Atherton looks at the big picture, in his column