Clive Lloyd has resigned from his position as chairman of the Stanford 20/20 Cup board citing concerns over how the future of the tournament affects West Indies cricket. The Jamaica Observer reported that Lloyd's resignation followed "a very healthy discussion" with Allen Stanford, the Antigua-based Texan billionaire who spent US$41 million to bankroll the recent tournament, but there are rumours that a looming clash between Stanford and the WICB would have put Lloyd in an uncomfortable position.
Lloyd is a WICB director and chairman of the board's cricket committee, but was one of 14 former West Indian legends who worked closely with Stanford to organise the successful tournament. "I have since had time to reflect on the matters which we discussed and, in particular, concerns for the future of West Indies cricket in relation to the Stanford 20/20 tournament," Lloyd said in a brief letter of resignation.
Stanford's next venture is a US$5 million 20-over match featuring the Stanford SuperStars - 20 of the best players from the tournament - against South Africa in November. However, a possible conflict with the dates for West Indies' tour of Pakistan overshadowed the announcement. During a press conference to announce the team, Lloyd emphasised that West Indies cricket should always remain the focus and that replacements for those selected for the Pakistan tour would be arranged for.
Stanford is believed to have a different opinion. "We cleared all of this with the ICC and with the WICB in terms of having a clear date in November that would not be in conflict," he said. "We have this in writing from January. The date for the Pakistan tour was announced after we were told that our one night, 20-over match would not be in conflict. I want to make it very clear that, as someone who has now committed US$41 million, that I went into this with a conciliatory tone and attitude with the WICB. I met with Ken Gordon three times. Now it is unfortunate that they scheduled the Pakistan tour to coincide with our 20-over match with South Africa that was previously agreed to."
The Super Stars' match is scheduled for November 10 in Antigua, while unconfirmed reports indicate that West Indies are due to arrive in Pakistan on November 7 - two days after the Champions Trophy final.