Stanford and Digicel strike deal over $20m series- 10 Oct 2008 00:00:00
A compromise between Sir Allen Stanford and West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) team sponsor Digicel means that the Twenty20 game will go on as planned.
The tournament, which will be held at Stanford Cricket Ground and involves a $20m winner’s prize, was at risk of being cancelled after the sponsor claimed it could not sanction the match.
Revealed yesterday, the deal was struck by Denis O'Brien, Digicel's owner, and Stanford after he lost a High Court hearing in London and involves the later making certain concessions over branding.
Stanford had argued that because the team playing England was not a representative side of the WICB, Digicel did not have any rights and thus it should only have minimal branding on the bowlers' run-ups and boundary boards. The sponsor was looking for a bigger role in the limelight, as the game will receive a great amount of publicity considering the large winner-takes-all reward.
Despite the case outcome not leaning in his favour, Stanford said he was "pleased with both parties' solution oriented approach, and most importantly, that this matter has been finally resolved.”
Indeed, as the peace deal now means the game can go forward, with England taking on Stanford Superstars XI on 1 November in the Caribbean for the grand prize.
The winning team will receive $1m (£581,618) for each player with the remaining cash being given to the rest of the management team, as well as the England and West Indies governing bodies.
The compromise also means that the Stanford Super Series will go on as well, which involves multiple games including English Twenty20 champions Middlesex, teams Trinidad and Tobago, and the two international XI's.
Now that these matches are officially on, attention will turn to England as it has its eye on what has been deemed the richest team prize for a sporting tournament.