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Posts Tagged ‘wicb’

It seems that sense may be about to prevail, as an agreement appears to have been reached between the WICB and the WIPA over their long-running and bitter contract dispute.

The agreement came after “a three day meeting between Dr. Julian Hunte and Mr. Dinanath Ramnarine” (presumably with frequent toilet breaks), and means that the forthcoming tour to Australia should feature the likes of Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, rather than Tino Best and a load of people you’ve never heard of.

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The second most prestigious tournament in everyone’s third-favourite format of the game is nearly here. Can you contain yourself? Here are the Group A runners and riders:

  • Australia will no doubt have had a confidence boost from driving a steamroller over England over the latter part of the summer, but doubts remain over how they will perform when faced with tougher opposition. Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson are a potent combination with the ball, and there seems to be no shortage of batsmen able to make runs (foremost amongst which, of course, is Ricky Ponting).
  • India may be missing Virender Sehwag, but will be amongst the favourites as they look to improve on their last showing at a 50-over tournament, when they didn’t make it past the first round of the 2007 World Cup. Since then, however, India have won an ICC tournament in South Africa – the same year’s World Twenty20 – and there is enough quality in the side to beat any opponent on the right day.
  • The West Indies go into the competition still in disarray, with a side full of reserves as the contract dispute rumbles on. Although progress seems to have been made on that front, this competition is likely to be little more than a further embarrassment for the WICB.

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After the sugary delights of the World Twenty20, it’s back to the slightly more balanced diet of 50-over cricket for the West Indies and India with the four-match ODI series which starts tomorrow at Sabina Park.

The tourists have been hit by injury (Sehwag, Raina) as well as the desire to give some key players (Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan) a rest, but a ‘weak’ Indian side still contains the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Ishant Sharma and Gambhir. Whilst their performance at the World Twenty20 was a disappointment, a disappointed India often bounce back strongly, and the inclusion of fresh faces may well prove to be the catalyst for a revival of their fortunes. Dhoni, as ever, will be key.

For the West Indies, an encouraging home Test series (at least in terms of results, the WICB‘s reputation took a bit of a beating) against England was followed up with a seemingly jaded performance against the same side away from home, and the contrast between the Chris Gayle who grumbled and griped his way thought that series and his swashbuckling Twenty20 alter-ego was vivid. The Windies will be hoping that they have the latter at their disposal for the next couple of weeks, as well as his partner-in-boundaries Dwayne Bravo (who is joined by brother Darren in the West Indies side for the first time). Sulieman Benn is also likely to have to play at his best, as he will face a tough examination of his bowling from the side who are traditionally considered the best in the world at playing spin.

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Sir Allen Stanford has been arrested by the FBI and will face charges in a US federal court this morning. The allegedly fraudulent cricket-loving Texan billionaire and admirer of Matt Prior’s wife has denied any wrongdoing.

If any aggreived West Indian cricket fans want to see the man who was briefly touted as the WICB’s saviour (and who may still owe Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul a million dollars) in tears, then go here.

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Allen Stanford has charged with fraud in the USA. The
Texan billionaire and incorrigible flirt has had his offices raided by US Marshalls (Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Downey Jr sadly not amongst them). This, unsurpisingly, has led the ECB to suspend talks with Stanford over future joint projects.

The alleged fraud is said to be related to “misrepresenting the safety and liquidity” of Certificates of Deposit sold by Stanford International Bank.

It has been rumoured for some time that Stanford was looking to scale back his involvement in cricket, but few can have forseen such a dramatic development. The WICB, mired as it already is in bad publicity, could certainly have done without this additional headache – Stanford in effect bankrolls their domestic Twenty20 competition.

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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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