Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Twenty20 only 50/50 !

An aberrant look into the world of cricket!

ENGLAND's lucrative Stanford Super Series Twenty20 clash is in doubt after the West Indies Cricket Board were left red-faced yesterday, following a High Court arbitration hearing in London found in favour of team sponsors Digicel, the telecommunications company, and against the WICB.

The root of the dispute has been the claim by Digicel, that they have the branding rights for 'the game' between the Stanford Super Stars XI and England, under the terms of their sponsorship contract with the WICB (which they extended until 2012 in July).

However Digicel claim they were frozen out when Texan billionaire Sir Allen Stanford set up his big-money series, which included a multi-million dollar challenge match for each of the next five years.

Digicel's stance has caused issue with the match organisers, Stanford 20/20, who would rather find their own sponsors for the match.

As a result of yesterday’s ruling The WICB will now have to withdraw its sanction for the lucrative match in Antigua on the 1st November, and Stanford and the WICB are now expected to be locked in talks with Digicel in a bid to reach a compromise.

This could mean the game going ahead without any centrally contracted West Indies players, such as Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Chris Gayle and Ramnaresh Sarwan, thus making a mockery of the event or it being called off altogether.

The match, inspired by cricket fan Stanford, will conclude a 'Super Series' of games throughout the week involving English Twenty20 champions Middlesex and Trinidad & Tobago.

The winning team will take home $20 million dollars in prize money, making each player a dollar millionaire overnight!

Stanford believes the dispute is an 'unwanted distraction' & the game would still go ahead, however WICB officials have yet to comment on the outcome of yesterday's High Court hearing.

Yesterday’s ruling was also a blow to the England and Wales Cricket Board, who are hoping the Stanford Series goes ahead as they hope the prize money will prevent its players from being tempted by the lucrative Indian Premier League


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