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Page last updated at 18:56 GMT, Thursday, 9 October 2008 19:56 UK

Stanford game is given go-ahead

Sir Allen Stanford and Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen will lead England against Sir Allen Stanford's team

England's $20m Stanford Twenty20 game will go ahead as planned, the tournament organisers have confirmed.

The game was thrown into doubt when the West Indies Cricket Board lost its case against team sponsor Digicel and was told it could not sanction the match.

But a compromise has now been reached between Sir Allen Stanford and Digicel.

"I am pleased with both parties' solution oriented approach, and most importantly, that this matter has been finally resolved," said Stanford.

"We look forward to welcoming fans from around the world to the Stanford Cricket Ground to enjoy a fantastic week of cricket."

The deal means both the Stanford Twenty20 for 20 game and the Stanford Super Series will go ahead.

The former features England taking on a Stanford Superstars XI for what has been billed as the richest team prize for a single sporting match.

Cook is focusing on the big-money prize

Each player on the winning team will receive $1m (581,618), with the rest of the money distributed between the remainder of the squad and management team, and the England and West Indies governing bodies.

Asked on BBC Radio 5 Live if he was able to put the money on offer out of his mind, England's Ravi Bopara admitted: "I have thought about it but what you're forgetting is we've still got to win.

"Everybody's talking as if we've already won it but they've got a good side."

He added: "The way I'm looking at it, this Stanford series is a little bit of a warm-up going into the India series.

"I can honestly say that the India series and the Ashes coming up mean more to me as cricketer because every England player wants to be involved in the Ashes and win it."

The Stanford Super Series features a number of games involving English Twenty20 champions Middlesex and Windies counterparts Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the two international XI's.

The peace deal, which was revealed earlier on Thursday by the BBC's Pat Murphy, comes after Stanford lost a High Court arbitration hearing in London.

Murphy said the deal, between Digicel's owner Denis O'Brien and Stanford, "involves Stanford making concessions over branding".

Stanford had argued the team playing England was not a representative side of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and thus Digicel, as the WICB's principal sponsors, did not have any rights. He was only prepared to grant them minimal branding on the bowlers' run-ups and boundary boards.

Digicel felt it had a right to a larger slice of the publicity and marketing surrounding the $20m (11.5m) winner-takes-all match on 1 November in the Caribbean.

The ECB remained keen that the match went ahead, as it feels it is the best way to lure the top players away from the temptations of the Indian Premier League.

Stanford Super Series schedule:

25 Oct: Stanford Super Stars v Trinidad & Tobago
26 Oct: England v Middlesex
27 Oct: Trinidad & Tobago v Middlesex
28 Oct: England v Trinidad & Tobago
29 Oct: Stanford Super Stars v Middlesex
30 Oct: Rest day
31 Oct: Legends Beach Cricket match
1 Nov: Stanford Super Stars v England

see also
Stanford Super Series fixtures
20 Sep 08 |  Cricket
Stanford game 'only about money'
09 Oct 08 |  Cricket
Sammy gets late Stanford call-up
19 Sep 08 |  West Indies
England bag 50m Twenty20 bonanza
11 Jun 08 |  Cricket
Stanford plans global expansion
12 Jun 08 |  Cricket

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Telegraph Strauss named in Middlesex Stanford Super Series squad - 67 hrs ago
The Times Ed Smith may miss Middlesex's Stanford prize bid - 04 Oct 2008
The Sun England game is just a warm-up - 04 Oct 2008
Birmingham Post Neil Carter keen to stay on at Warwickshire - 03 Oct 2008
Sky Sports Carter in Stanford Crusade - 03 Oct 2008


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