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Stanford backs IPL participation

Sir Allen Stanford, the backer of the Stanford Super Series, believes England players should be able to participate in the Indian Premier League.

"For English players not to participate wouldn't be good from a management view when players from other countries can," Stanford told Radio Five Live.

"I think the IPL has been a great commercial success following the sale of their TV rights.

"Indians are the 900lb gorilla in the cricket world and they call the shots."

Sir Allen Stanford
Stanford believes 20/20 represents the future of cricket
The Texan billionaire, who is bank-rolling the $20m series, also feels that Twenty20 and Test cricket can both thrive, while claiming his model remains the future of the sport.

England captain Kevin Pietersen had earlier voiced concern that while Twenty20 cricket was hugely popular with fans, it should not be at the expense of Test cricket.

Stanford said:"The future of the game is Twenty20, but both can co-exist. Maybe one is for the purist fans and the other wants to be entertained.

"At the end of the day, professional sports is unfortunately all about making money.

606: DEBATE
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"It would be foolish to say that Test cricket is the only thing out there. Twenty20 will drive cricket commercially."

The Stanford Super Series is a five-year agreement between Stanford 20/20, the England and Wales Cricket Board and the West Indies Cricket Board.

Trinidad and Tobago and Middlesex are also featured in the inaugural week-long tournament.

In Saturday's match between the Stanford Super Stars and England the winning team will receive US$1m.

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see also
Antigua lights concern Pietersen
27 Oct 08 |  England
Stanford Super Series fixtures
26 Oct 08 |  Cricket


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