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Giles Clarke admits to error of judgement

The ECB reacted to the news that Allen Stanford had been charged with fraud in the USA with a statement saying it and the West Indies board had "suspended negotiations with Stanford and his financial corporation concerning a new sponsorship deal".
Speaking to journalists in Antigua, the ECB chairman Giles Clarke admitted that his organisation may have made an error of judgement in getting involved with Stanford, but added that they had done so "with the best of intentions".

"The ECB carried out due diligence prior to making their long-term agreement with Stanford last summer," said Clarke. "He was conducting a banking operation, which, at the time, based on the information from the work that was done, showed no indication that there was anything that could prevent him from paying his obligations. We did what we did because we believed we were doing the right thing to raise funds for West Indies cricket and, indeed, our own game."

England's last dealing with Stanford came in November last year, when they contested and lost the US$20 million 20/20 for 20 in Antigua. The ECB nevertheless earned US$3.5 million as a participation fee, which Clarke insisted had been paid up.

"We have a situation where a court case has been filed," Clarke said. "The matter is therefore sub judice. We also have contractual rights with this particular situation. At the moment, all of the obligations with regard to the game that was played have been met, and all of the various people who were expected to do various things for that match have received their remuneration, as far as I am aware."

However, Clarke has found himself at the receiving end of much criticism, raising questions about the future of his current position as chairman.

This summer, a four-team quadrangular tournament is due to take place at Lord's, with Sri Lanka and New Zealand also expected to feature. "We will clearly consider that situation but, as we have suspended all negotiations, there is a strong possibility that will now not take place," Clarke said.