Posts Tagged ‘allen stanford’

England are currently being demolished by India in the One Day series between the two sides. Admittedly, the hosts (and Yuvraj in particular) have been exceptional, but England have been awful. What’s the problem?

  • Is it the openers? To some extent. Prior and Bell are not the sort of ODI opening partnership that strikes fear into the hearts of opposition bowlers, and are generally representative of England’s lack of combativeness early in their innings. Prior in particular is now facing accusations that he’s only in the side because he gets on well with Peter Moores, and whilst those are probably unfounded, England’s batting order is certainly a bit odd (Bopara as a specialist batsman at number eight is almost unbelievable).
  • Is it Allen Stanford? The ghosts of the Super Series may still be haunting a large section of the England dressing room, and the distraction of the IPL-ECB negotiations can’t be helping. Confidence is hardly running high.

Chances are that all of these factors are playing a part in England’s slump, but things could still change if the tourists win the next ODI and regain the feel-good factor which characterised Kevin Pietersen‘s first few weeks as captain.

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Allen Stanford’s one-man mission to help cricketers dodge the credit crunch reaches its climax tonight as England take on the Stanford Superstars for $20m. The game takes place amid concerns about million-dollar catches, the quality of the pitch, whether the players are comfortable or not, and even whether their wives are in danger of molestation – and all of those links are just from one newspaper.

Jimmy Anderson will quite possibly be getting angry phone calls from his bank manager and cancelling his order for a helicopter this morning after it was announced that he’s not in the $20m team.

If you want to follow the game, then you can do so here.

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With everyone getting excited about all the money up for grabs on Saturday, it’s refreshing to hear that David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd would give away the prize money if he had been involved in something similar. Of course, that’s easy for him to say as he knows there’s no danger of him ever being in that situation, but it makes you wonder what the current England side might do with the cash should they emerge victorious from Allen Stanford’s cash bonanza.

Time was that KP would probably have spent it on a haircut, but in these times of financial turmoil, he’s more likely to spend it a little more discreetly (perhaps on elocution lessons?).

Luton Town fans will be disappointed that Monty’s not involved, as he pledged to save the club with any money he won. Better than James Caan, I suppose.

How would you spend the money, or how do you think the England players should (if they win, which doesn’t seem a certainty after the game against Middlesex)?

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Just a few weeks before the Standford 20/20 for $20m is scheduled to take place, its future is still shrouded in doubt due to the ongoing dispute between Digicel and the WICB over the status of the Stanford Superstars. An arbitration hearing is currently underway, with a final ruling to be made sometime next week.

The sheer amount of money involved suggests that some sort of compromise will be reached, but any court case so close to the start of the Super Series on October 25th is destined to cause severe embarrassment for all involved (with the possible exception of Allen Stanford himself – a man who arrives at Lord’s in a helicopter can surely have no shame).

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Is the prospect of a bumper pay-day in Antigua come November skewing the judgement of England’s cricketers? Steve Harmison has already been accused of returning to One-Day cricket for mercenary reasons, and in the long build-up to the Stanford Super Series, there will be more focus than ever on who’ll be selected.

Personally, I think the winner-takes-all structure was always going to prove divisive, not least within the team itself. The arrangement between Stanford and the ECB is arguably even more of a potential return to the Packer era than the IPL was, with all that implies.

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Ambiguities over to what extent the Stanford Superstars are a West Indies team look set to spill over into court, with a date set in London for a hearing of an injuction brought by Digicel (the official sponsors of the West Indies team, but not the Stanford side, which has an agreement with rival telecoms company Cable & Wireless) against the WICB.

The board are confident that the venture will go ahead as planned, but a court date so close to the start of the Super Series, including the game against England, will increase the uncertainty surrounding the event. Watch this space.

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The Stanford Superstars, who will compete against England for megabucks in the Stanford Super Series, have been selected. There are a couple of surprises in there, notably the uncapped likes of Lennox Cush and Chad Hampson, as well as established West Indies players like Chanderpaul, Gayle, and Sarwan.

The squad raises an interesting point which has been debated elsewhere (albeit with reference to India). To what extent can an ‘unofficial’ team represent the West Indies (or whoever), and is this a rival team to that backed by the ‘official’ board (in this case the WICB)? The WICB’s involvement has already been controversial, causing it to go into arbitration with one of its sponsors, Digicel.

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