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Posts Tagged ‘stanford superstars’

Andrew Strauss hasn’t played a limited overs international since April 2007, but tonight he leads England in a Twenty20 international against a West Indies side superficially similar to the Stanford Superstars team that beat England by 10 wickets back when Allen Stanford was more likely to be asked ‘is it fun being a millionaire?‘ than ‘how do you plead?‘.

Cricinfo’s preview of tonight’s match expects Ian Bell to open the batting for England alongside Strauss. Yes, that’s right, Ian Bell.

England have never quite managed to get their Twenty20 opening partnership right. They have tried the following in the last four years: Geraint Jones and Marcus Trescothick, Strauss and Trescothick, Trescothick and Bell, Ed Joyce and Michael Vaughan, Alastair Cook and Matt Prior, Prior and Darren Maddy, Prior and Luke Wright, Maddy and Vikram Solanki, Wright and Phil Mustard, and Bell and Wright. That’s 10 different partnerships in a mere 14 matches.

I doubt that Bell and Strauss are the solution, but I will graciously suspend judgement until, ooh, maybe the fifth over of tonight’s match.

UPDATE: It now seems that England will try another opening pair – Steve Davies and Ravi Bopara. They seem more like a Twenty20 opening pair than Strauss and Bell, so let’s hope for some success.

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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 the cash bonanza that is the Stanford Super Series about to get underway, here’s a quick introduction to some of the personalities involved:

  • England arguably have the least Twenty20 experience of the four sides competing, but the likes of Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff should be able to adapt their big hitting to the format.

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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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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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