Stanford offers US$20m prize for special 20/20 series

Published: Friday, July 6, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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St John's (Antigua):World champions Australia are among four international teams invited to play in a Twenty20 series for a winner-takes-all prize of US$20 million (10 million pounds) although the man behind the idea accepts issues still remain.

The event is the brainchild of Allen Stanford, the Texan billionaire, who is also hoping to include Sri Lanka, India and South Africa in the week-long tournament proposed for June 2008.

The four countries would contest a knockout event with the winners facing the Stanford Super Stars, an all-West Indies XI comprising the best players from the inter-island Stanford 20/20 Tournament, due to be staged in Antigua early next year.

Stanford has dubbed the series "20/20 for 20 million" but it is subject to approval from the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), the International Cricket Council (ICC) and broadcast network ESPN, which has a broadcast agreement with the ICC.

The Texan made the announcement in Antigua but conceded there were "issues to deal with", adding: "Working with the WICB has not been the most harmonious of relationships. There are some minor issues with the ICC..."

His proposed $5 million match between the Stanford Super Stars and South Africa fell through last year after wranglings with the WICB.

When asked for a reaction by Reuters on Thursday, an ICC spokesman said he was not in a position at present to comment.

Stanford has also announced he is giving West Indies cricket $100 million over three years with most of the funding going towards grassroots development.


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