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July 24, 2008
Allen Stanford, the Antigua-based billionaire who is bankrolling the Stanford 20/20 for 20, has said that the structure of West Indies cricket administration needs to be "streamlined" and that there were "too many players handling too few dollars" at present.
"How can you have the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), the Leewards and Windwards boards, and the individual island boards running a programme that really ought to be run through one board with a representative from each island to streamline efficiency," Stanford told the Nation. "That is what makes business sense."
"We have too many cooks in this little kitchen. We need to streamline this. None of this is disrespecting people. None of this is saying we are doing anything wrong in terms of any island, but we have too many players handling too few dollars."
The WICB comprises 18 directors, including a president and a vice-president. The six territorial associations have two directors each and the numbers are made up by four non-elected directors.
Stanford's view was supported by former West Indian fast bowler, Wes Hall, who is one of the 14 legends on the Stanford 20/20 board of directors. Hall was the WICB president between 2001 and 2003.
"You need a board that is not 18 people," Hall said. "You want a West Indies Cricket Board and not a West Indies business board with a cricket committee that has no clout. You don't need 18 people. You need eight. We've said so for years, but nobody is listening."
The WICB and chief sponsors Digicel are currently heading to arbitration over the issue raised by the Irish telecommunication company that the Stanford five-year, US$100 million series - which consists of one All-Star match per year against an England team - encroaches on their exclusive sponsorship rights.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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