Texas-born investor Allen Stanford will begin rolling out more than US$2 million in funding in the New Year to the 19 regional countries participating in the Stanford Twenty20 tournament, organisers have said. A media release from event managers, Kelly Holding, said Stanford plans to begin the disbursement of US$2,185,000 in the first week of January.
The US$1 million winner take-it-all competition will take place next summer at the Stanford Cricket Ground here and will be followed by a Stanford Super Star Series when a Caribbean team will play two matches against two international sides for a purse worth US$5 million.
Stanford hosted a meeting in St Kitts on Tuesday with his board of directors, comprising 14 Windies cricket legends, "to agree on exactly how much each cricket board will be given in this first installment," a statement said. "The amount of funding given to each country will be determined based on the content of the plans that each cricket board has submitted to the organising committee and the reports and recommendations from the legends."
Each legend has 'adopted' at least one of the 19 countries, and acts as advisor to the local cricket boards and a liaison between the tournament's organising committee. The legends will also travel regularly to the jurisdiction to view the progress of the teams and offer any assistance necessary. To date, all but three of the countries have been visited at least once by their legends. The disbursements to the 19 participating local cricket boards comprises US$100 000 for the development of facilities, US$5 000 for the upkeep of the facilities and US$10 000 for coaching and player development.
"The Stanford Twenty20 participants have been working hard on their plans for the tournament since the announcement of the competition," said Andy Roberts, chairman of the Stanford Twenty20 Technical Advisory Board. "One of the goals of the visits to the countries was to ensure that the local boards have a firm understanding of how Mr. Stanford would like the monies to be spent."
"I am satisfied that the boards are well on their way to achieving this target. The majority of them will be receiving the entire first installment while some will need to provide a bit more information to the Board."
Other items on the agenda for the board meeting were discussions about the advertising campaign for the tournament, the upgrading of the Stanford Cricket Grounds in Antigua in preparation for international TV coverage and the establishment of a Stanford Twenty20 head office and training ground in St Kitts.
Television broadcasting of the tournament both regionally and internationally, media and public relations plans and a review of the plans and procedures for managing the disbursement of funds to the local boards were also discussed.
During the meeting, Stanford also announced the addition of another member to the Stanford Twenty20 board. Kenneth Allen of Montserrat has been with the Stanford Group for over 20 years and brings a wealth of legal experience to the body. "We had a very comprehensive and productive meeting," Stanford said. "I think with the dissemination of funds in the New Year, the plans for the tournament will begin to gain momentum and find its stride."
"It was important for the Board to get a clear picture of where we're at and hear from the legends who have been working closely with the local cricket boards, and who have been providing invaluable input throughout this entire organizational process."
Last Monday evening, Stanford hosted a dinner with the Ministers of the St Kitts government where he presented a cheque for US$31,400 to Prime Minister Denzil Douglas for a pitch at the Conaree Cricket Ground.