With talks failing to resolve to their dispute over the sponsorship rights for the November 1 Stanford 20/20 All-Star match, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and chief sponsors Digicel will head to arbitration.
Three weeks of negotiations between the WICB and Digicel have not brought about a mutually favourable solution. Now, legal teams from both parties are working towards a neutral intervention, WICB CEO Donald Peters confirmed yesterday.
"Digicel have asked to go to arbitration, so we are prepared to do that," Peters told the Express. "Our attorneys are working on that, but (we're) not sure what time it is yet. There are guidelines to the arbitration process, so we will stick with that."
The issue Digicel raised with the Stanford five-year, US$100 million series - which consists of one All-Star match per year against an England Select team - is that the deal with the WICB and Stanford encroaches on the Irish telecommunication giants' exclusive sponsorship rights. Allen Stanford, however, disagrees.
"Digicel has to deal with the WICB, the WICB has the West Indies team," Stanford said on Monday during the ring presentation ceremony to the Trinidad and Tobago team, the 2008 Stanford 20/20 regional winners. "We have the Stanford Superstar team which was selected by the Legends here, not by the WICB selectors, totally different, totally apart."
A 32-man training squad, including eight T&T players, has been selected for the lucrative, winner-take-all match. Stanford has exclusive television and other rights to the game according to their deal with the WICB, but Digicel has threatened legal proceedings if the issue is not settled soon.