Full name R Allen Stanford
Born March 24, 1950, Texas, USA
Current age 66 years 97 days
Height 6 ft 4 in
Education Baylor University
When Allen Stanford announced that he was funding a pan-Caribbean Twenty20 tournament in 2005, few took much notice. Then the level of his investment was revealed - US$28 million to be spread across the region - and it was evident that he was a serious player, with money to spend in an area where spare cash is in short supply. The success of his inaugural event - against a backdrop of some hostility from the establishment - was unquestionable, and so too was his long-term commitment to the game in the West Indies. By the time of the second Stanford 20/20 in early 2008, he had earned respect and was seen, by some, as the only credible and wealthy-enough alternative to the IPL.
He looked for a bigger stage than the Caribbean. In 2006 he offered South Africa a US$5 million winner-take-all match. They declined, as did India the following year. Those decisions did not look as clever when in June 2008, Stanford announced a US$100 million five-match tie up with the England and West Indies boards.
Born and raised in Texas, Stanford has expanded a company founded by his grandfather in 1932 into a global entity, a wealth management and financial services organisation with offices across North America, Latin America, Europe and the Caribbean.
Stanford has been based in Antigua for more than two decades, and it was there that his love of cricket developed. "I have witnessed firsthand the power that the game of cricket wields over the people in this region," he said." Cricket is an almost tangible force which can unify an entire country, an entire group of people, no matter the differences that might exist off the field, in the houses of parliaments or between nations. I also observed the decay of these emotions, a slow erosion of faith in the sport which has given way to feelings of disillusionment and low expectations. I felt that I was able to offer a viable and innovative solution in the form of a 20/20 tournament."
In February 2009, Stanford was charged with "a fraud of shocking magnitude" by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the USA. As a result, the ECB and the WICB suspended negotiations with Stanford and his corporate body. In 2012, he was sentenced to 110 years in prison by a US court.
Martin Williamson June 2012
Appointed Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of the Nation (Antigua and Barbuda) in 2006
Click here for the link to the Stanford 20/20 tournament homepage
He understands the Indian mentality better and doesn't have to deal with star players on the wane