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Page last updated at 23:21 GMT, Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Stanford reviews series future

Sir Allen Stanford launches the Twenty20 for $20m series
Stanford and the ECB signed a five-year contract in June 2008

The future of Sir Allen Stanford's Super Series is being discussed, a spokesman revealed to BBC Sport.

Rumours about its future surfaced when 12 West Indies legends used to promote the event were dismissed.

But the spokesman said: "The Super Series specifically is under review but is not the only aspect being reviewed.

"All agreements are being reviewed including the regional tournament. The process is ongoing and an announcement will be made at the end of January."

In an earlier statement Stanford said it was his intention to work with the England and Wales Cricket Board and announce a programme for 2009.

The ECB is one year into a five-year deal with Stanford worth $17.5m.

In June 2008, Stanford agreed to fund and stage five annual $20m winner-takes-all Twenty20 games between a West Indies Superstars XI and England at his stadium in Antigua.

The first, which the Superstars won by 10 wickets in October, was criticised heavily in England and the ECB has been conducting a comprehensive review of the series.

Former England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Lord MacLaurin labelled the $20m match a "pantomime" and "obscene".

Stanford came under fire during the series for being pictured sitting among the players' partners, with Matt Prior's pregnant wife Emily on his lap.

HOW STANFORD'S $20m IS SPLIT
The 11 winning players will receive $1m each
The four remaining members of the winning squad will share $1m
The winning back-room staff members will share $1m
The ECB and WICB will each receive $3.5m
Kevin Pietersen's England side harboured concerns about the state of the floodlights and the pitch, and spoke of their discomfort about playing for money as the main motivation, rather than representing their country.

Stanford was also the prospective backer for an annual four-team international Twenty20 tournament at Lord's each summer from 2009.

The 58-year-old has pledged $130m to West Indian cricket over five years and set up a domestic Twenty20 tournament in 2006.

He employed Sir Viv Richards, Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Everton Weekes, Lance Gibbs, Wes Hall, Andy Roberts, Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Richie Richardson, Joel Garner, Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose as ambassadors for his series.

Ex-West Indies bowler Colin Croft told BBC Sport the group, including Richards, had "definitely" been axed.

But despite his decision to dispense with their services, Croft said he would be surprised if Stanford pulled out of cricket altogether.

"The man has lived in Antigua and Barbuda for about 20 years; he is as much a West Indian as many people," Croft told BBC Radio 5 Live.

The Stanford reports caught England unaware as they prepare to face India

"It would be strange if he invested all of that money and then at the drop of a hat decided he is going to remove himself.

"I would be surprised, I would be disappointed. West Indies cricket needs Sir Allen Stanford.

"He has contributed to each of the individual territories, giving as much as $200,000 each year for the last two or three years, so everybody is going to lose if he is removed from the equation."

Some ECB officials are in India for the current Test series, as they attempt to establish Stanford's intentions.

"One of the problems we have is that we are five and a half hours ahead of London, who in turn are five hours ahead of America so we are going to have to juggle time zones," said an ECB spokesman.

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see also
ECB plans Stanford Series review
29 Oct 08 |  England
Six balls for $20m
29 Oct 08 |  Cricket
Stanford Super Series results
02 Nov 08 |  Cricket
England hold nerve to clinch win
28 Oct 08 |  England
Antigua lights concern Pietersen
27 Oct 08 |  England
Stanford backs IPL participation
27 Oct 08 |  Cricket
Stanford explains wags incident
31 Oct 08 |  Cricket
New-look English Twenty20 agreed
16 Jul 08 |  Counties


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