Allen Stanford, the Antigua-based billionaire who is bankrolling the Stanford 20/20 for 20, has said that the West Indies national team was "totally different and totally apart" from the Stanford Superstar Team for the US$ 20-million match against an England team on November 1.
Digicel, West Indies' principal sponsors, had issued a media release declaring that they would be pursuing a "formal dispute resolution process as provided for in the sponsorship agreement with the WICB". They argued that by agreeing to Stanford's proposed winner-take-all match, the board had entered into a deal which "wholly compromises the exclusive rights granted to Digicel as principal sponsors of West Indies cricket".
The WICB said that the match involved a Stanford team and not a West Indies team, implying that Digicel didn't come into the picture. Stanford reiterated the board's stand.
"Digicel has to deal with the WICB, the WICB has the West Indies team," Stanford told Trinidad Express. "We have the Stanford Superstar Team which was selected by the Legends here, not by the WICB selectors, totally different, totally apart.
"We entered into an agreement with the West Indies Cricket Board and the England and Wales Cricket Board with the clear understanding that we have an agreement to play this match with us - the Stanford 20/20 - having the sole rights to sell the marketing, branding, TV etc worldwide. There were no other restrictions placed on us.
"If Digicel, or anybody else, wants to throw a roadblock in this for whatever reason, in my humble estimation, based on the money that I'm putting out, which is more than Digicel or anybody else has ever put out, they don't have the cricket future of the West Indies in their heart and soul."
A 32-member Stanford Superstars Twenty20 squad was announced on Tuesday. The squad included Chris Gayle, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Dwayne Bravo, as well as notable performers from the Stanford Twenty20 domestic tournament.