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England to play extra Windies T20s

Published: Thursday, August 4, 2011, 0:00 [IST]
 
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England to play extra Windies T20s

London, Aug 3: England are to play two additional Twenty20 internationals against the West Indies in September in a bid to fulfil broadcast obligations three years after the collapse of the Stanford Super Series.

Both matches will take place at The Oval, the London home of Surrey, on September 23 and 25.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) faced a problem in honouring a host 260 million pounds ( $421 million) broadcast deal with satellite station Sky, signed in 2008.

That was intended to include a Stanford Super Series every November, as well as an Indian Premier League (IPL) type Twenty20 tournament during each English summer.

However, within four months of the inaugural Stanford Super Series in Antigua in November 2008, where a dispirited England lost in the final to what was in effect a West Indian select XI, American businessman Allen Stanford was arrested and accused of being behind a 7 billion pounds ($4.3 billion) fraud.

He is currently in prison, where he has been treated for drug addiction, and is due to stand trial in New York on September 12.

When reports emerged in June that the West Indies matches could take place, ECB chairman Giles Clarke conceded admitted broadcast agreements had been a factor in the scheduling.

But he insisted there were other reasons, both in terms of aiding the financially-stricken West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and helping England prepare for the defence of their World Twenty20 title in Sri Lanka next year, for the games to go ahead.

"We have a contractual commitment to Sky and BBC," Clarke said.

"We have said we are interested in more preparation for the Twenty20 World Cup. The new captain (Stuart Broad) would benefit from more opportunity to captain."

AFP

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