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Nixon backs under-fire Stanford

By Jamie Lillywhite

Chris Gayle with Sir Allen Stanford
Chris Gayle's team thrashed England to win the big money prize

Former England wicketkeeper Paul Nixon believes that the Stanford Series is beneficial for the game of cricket.

The England team were critical of some of Sir Allen's actions during the event in which they lost their $20m game.

But Nixon told BBC Sport: "As long as there is money coming into the game and it's spent the right way it's OK.

"Anybody who puts their money where their mouth is is serious and I think it's going to be a long-term thing that's good for cricket worldwide."

England were trounced by 10 wickets in the big-money match, having been bowled out for 99, a result that left Nixon, who played 19 one-internationals and a Twenty20 match in 2007, with mixed feelings.

"Part of me would have liked an England win but I enjoyed the West Indians winning because it is going to change lives and that is a nice touch from Mr Stanford.


"There has been a lot of hype and I still think it is a bit over the top but it is going to change more lives and families in the West Indies, not just the guys that played but people around them, than it would for England players."

Stanford, the extrovert Texan billionaire who arrived at Lord's by helicopter to negotiate arrangements for his Twenty20 tournament with the England and Wales Cricket Board, did not endear himself to the England players.

In addition to being seen on the big screen with Matt Prior's wife Emily on his knee he wandered into the England dressing-room unannounced, while the surfaces at his plush stadium often produced inconsistent bounce.

"I've not met him yet, I'd like to speak him about some business matters!" Nixon said.

"He'll be a fun guy, who wants to feel part of a team. That's about seomtimes being in the dressing room and good communication, even looking after the girls as well!

"I'm sure everything was in good spirits and meant the right way but our press have got hold of it and maybe tried to turn it into something it isn't.

"Those sort of guys are very driven, highly successful individuals who are often by themselves.

"They're not part of a team for a long period and sporting organisations are very different to business."

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