High Court ruling threatens $20m Stanford Series- 8 Oct 2008 00:00:00
The lucrative $20m Stanford Series cricket tournament featuring the top players from England and the West Indies is in doubt after a High Court ruling concerning a row over sponsorship rights.
The West Indies Cricket Board has lost its case against team sponsor Digicel and been told it cannot sanction the match, set for 1st November in Antigua.
Despite being a WICB sponsor Digicel, was denied full sponsorship rights to the Stanford Series, and consequently took action claiming it was effectively a West Indies match.
Digicel had been unhappy that the man behind the series, Texan billionaire Sir Allen Stanford, was only prepared to grant them minimal branding on the bowlers' run-ups and boundary boards. It felt it had a right to a larger slice of the publicity and marketing surrounding the match.
The High Court ruling supported Digicel’s view adding that no West Indians on central contracts could play unless the situation was resolved in the mobile phone brand’s favour.
Digicel and the WICB are locked in furious negotiations over the next few days in a bid to save the match which is due to feature a whole week of warm-up matches.
Domestic Twenty20 champions Middlesex are also involved in the action - and are due to be paid handsomely should they win their match against Trinidad & Tobago.