Friday, December 19, 2008
Stanford downsizes the Legends
I knew that we hadn't heard the last of that ongoing saga between Texan billionaire Sir Allen Stanford, the West Indies Cricket Board and Digicel.
News broke a few days ago that Sir Allen had suddenly dissolved the Stanford 20/20 board of directors, throwing into doubt his future involvement in Caribbean cricket.
The Texan billionaire, who has pumped more than US$100 million into the sport since 2006, will apparently conduct a full review of his 2008 programme before outlining his plans for the 2009 programme next month.
If you recall, there was major wrangling earlier this year between the WICB and Digicel, which was claiming that the Stanford Superstars team chosen to play in Stanford's Super Series was a West Indies team and the dispute went before the London Court of International Arbitration, who agreed with Digicel.
Anyhoo, Stanford has now gone and dissolved his 20/20 board, which comprises 12 legends of West Indies cricket, - Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Everton Weekes, Reverend Wes Hall, Lance Gibbs, Sir Vivian Richards, Andy Roberts, Joel Garner, Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Richie Richardson, Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh.
I was always concerned that Stanford's love affair with West Indies cricket would come to a bad end one day. He has what the business of cricket needs to operate efficiently (plenty moolah), but I always felt that the commercialising of cricket has led to its downfall in the region.
I'm not in a position to say what WI cricket needs, Lord knows they've tried everything except an exorcist. All I can say is that it looks bad to open a paper and see that a WI cricket legend has been fired....