Stanford or Ashes?: Collingwood in dilemma

Published: Friday, June 13, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Billionaire businessman Allen Stanford (R) poses with former greats Sir Viv Richards (C) of West Indies and Ian Botham of England in front of the prize money for winners of the series between England and his Caribbean Super Stars side, at Lord's in London, on June 11, 2008.London: The dilemma caused by the power of the Texan billionaire Stanford's dollars was seen when Paul Collingwood, the England one-day captain, admitted that it would be difficult to choose between winning this winter's 20 million dollars showdown and regaining the Ashes next summer.

England's one-day skipper was confronted with the dilemma on the eve of Friday's Twenty20 game against New Zealand at Old Trafford, The Sun reported.

"It's a difficult question. I have grown up all my life wanting to win the Ashes and I want to regain them in 2009. I don't know whether you would get the spin-offs from winning the Ashes but I want to win this one-off game. The money is a massive incentive," Collingwood said.

The volume of cash put up by Texan billionaire Sir Allen Stanford is clearly forcing Collingwood and his England teammates to review their priorities.

But the ODI captain is uncomfortable with the situation and describes a match conceived purely for money as "scary".

He is worried Test cricket could be undermined by the Twenty20 revolution and is calling on the authorities to increase financial inducements for the five-day game.

"The scary thing is it isn"t the Ashes or the World Cup. When you"re growing up as a kid, that's what you dream about. But this is just about money," Collingwood said.

"In many ways, it is a little uncomfortable. I'm not going to turn down the money, obviously, and there are a lot of positives. For example, I"m sure participation in cricket will increase," he added.


Read more about: england, twenty20, t20, money, collingwood, stanford
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