Preparations for the inaugural Stanford 20/20 tournament stepped up this week as a US$2.75 million promotional and marketing campaign, due to start in May, was announced.
Billionaire Allen Stanford and 13 of his West Indies legends took part in a shoot for a TV commercial in Antigua this week. The entire tournament will be shown on TV throughout the Caribbean, and it is being widely reported that there has also been considerable interest from around the world.
"The Stanford 20/20 is a new spin on an old game. It's the game we love like we've never seen it before," Stanford said when asked to explain the tournament's slogan The Game We Loved. Evolved.. "It's big names with big career statistics and new names and lesser-known heroes. It's heavy favourites and come-from-behind underdogs. This tournament is unique in so many ways, not only because of the prizes up for grabs but also for the different elements that we are going to add to the game that will make it even more exciting. I don't want to reveal too much but I hope everyone will come out and see what we have in store."
Stanford is investing in the region of US$28 million in the event and there is a $1 million prize for the winning team, with $500,000 for the runners-up. Stanford's longer-term aim is to establish a professional Super League in the Caribbean with two $5 million winner-takes-all games featuring a Caribbean Super Stars XI against world-class opponents.
Meanwhile, the tournament committee met in St Kitts where the rules and regulations were nailed down and progress reports received from the 19 participating countries. Most countries have received the first three months of funding - totalling around US$45,000 - and most have also started spending the US$100,000 allocated to them as capital investment monies.
The Stanford 20/20 begins on Tuesday, July 11 at the Stanford Cricket Ground in Antigua.
The countries due to take part are Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Nevis, St Kitts, St Lucia, St Maarten, St Vincent, Trinidad & Tobago, British Virgin Islands, US Virgin Islands.