Crisis doesn't threaten board, says WICB chief
Julian Hunte, the WICB president, has unlike his England counterpart Giles Clarke, refused to admit any "error of judgement" in forming an association with Allen Stanford, who has been charged with "fraud of shocking magnitude" by the Securities and Exchange Commission in the USA. However, the WICB and ECB have issued a joint statement where they confirmed the suspension of negotiations with Stanford and his corporate group. "I don't want to pass any judgement," Hunte told the Trinidad and Tobago Express. "I don't like to kick a man when he's down. What we know is that as we speak, his license has been suspended."
As a result of the crisis, the Stanford 20/20 regional series, which was expected to go ahead despite the disbanding of the board of Legends, is now unlikely to be held. Asked about the future of the tournament Hunte said: "We anticipate that it will not continue (in the immediate future).
"That is not a difficult matter for us to deal with. Either the West Indies Cricket Board on its own or with the assistance of other entrepreneurs, we'll be able to get a tournament going in a way that will make it financially viable for us."
Hunte admitted the Stanford debacle was a setback for West Indies cricket but said it didn't threaten its existence or functioning. "To all intents and purposes, the West Indies Cricket Board is not dependent on Stanford for its financial viability," he said.
"Stanford did, in the midst of all of this, make contributions to the territorial boards to assist them with the development of their cricket. And that has been very useful in terms of having an impact on how our cricket develops. In this regard you're not going to get a Stanford coming around very soon, but we have to make the adjustment to proceed."
However Forbes Persaud, the chief executive of the Trinidad & Tobago board, said the cancellation of the Stanford 20/20 tournament could cost his board up to US$195,000. "Now that this has happened, it would mean that we cannot really look forward to that [money] coming to us again," Persaud told the Trinidad & Tobago Express. "I know our boys were eagerly looking forward to playing in the tournament and the fact that they have frozen all his assets, it would mean that that would be the end of the tournament."