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September 27, 2008
Digicel, the main sponsors of West Indies cricket, has refused to allow Stanford to participate in the legal action the telecommunications company has brought against the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) in relation to the Stanford Super Series. A Stanford media release said "Digicel claims that to permit Stanford 20/20 such access would 'disrupt' the arbitration" which is set to begin on October 3 in the High Court in London.
Stanford wanted to be part of the arbitration proceedings "in order to ensure its position was fully and properly communicated to the arbitrator". The statement said that Digicel's refusal "appears to make clear that Digicel is adamant on pursuing its legal proceedings at the risk of destroying the event [Stanford 20/20 for 20] and causing substantial damage to cricket in the Caribbean."
The disagreement between Digicel, the WICB, and Stanford is over the status of the Stanford Super Series. While Digicel maintains it is an official WICB event with a representative national team and under the terms of its contract with the WICB, that would give it full branding rights. Stanford insists that it is an unofficial team and, as such, is outside any existing WICB-Digicel agreement.
Digicel had proposed a compromise earlier this month but their proposal was met by a counter-offer from Stanford stating they would not bring on board any of Digicel's competitors, would pay all their costs, and would give the company some branding rights at the 2008 event.
However, Stanford's terms were rejected by Digicel who maintained that it wanted the same branding on Stanford Superstars shirts as it has on the West Indies national team's shirts for the next five years.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Have the West Indies board landed themselves in a mess of their own making, or are Digicel, who are the WICB's major sponsors, being unreasonable?
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