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Collier defends Stanford decision

David Collier and Sir Allen Stanford
Collier (l) has come under pressure to resign over the Stanford saga

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive David Collier has insisted he will not resign over the Stanford saga.

Collier admitted he had discussed his position with chairman Giles Clarke.

But he said: "Members of the board have been phoning to say we have full confidence and you must carry on."

The ECB severed all contractual links with Texan billionaire Sir Allen Stanford after he was accused of a $8bn (5.6bn) investment fraud in the US.

Collier defended the ECB's decision to sign the original contract last summer, which was for $100m (70m) and for the England team to play five winner-takes-all Twenty20 matches against a Stanford Superstars XI.

But the series descended into controversy over the state of the pitch and claims the England team were hired for what was no more than a distasteful publicity stunt.

Collier, however, insisted the proper checks were carried out before the agreement was signed.

606: DEBATE
Newmackem

He told BBC Five Live's Sportsweek programme: "I've certainly looked back and said 'would we have been able to do things differently' and I believe that as professionals we went through all the correct contract procedures.

"Clearly the board correctly signed off all of the agreements.

"I believe therefore that I could not have done more at that time and I don't think the board could have done more.

"So the answer is no on that."

Collier said the Stanford deal was aimed at moving the game forward, though he admitted it had ultimately backfired.

He added: "There are always risks when you try and move things on and this one wasn't a good move.

"I don't think we got it badly wrong, but with the benefit of huge hindsight we'd not have entered into the agreement."

Leicestershire chairman Neil Davidson says both Clarke and Collier should resign over the Stanford affair.

Stanford was a sleazebag. I was very uncomfortable with the whole Stanford thing

Kevin Pietersen
He said: "Giles and David Collier are in this together. Regrettably, their credibility has gone forever and cannot be recovered.

"Together with the board, they are the custodians of our national game, we did not need to do this deal for the financial aspects of Stanford."

Later on Sunday the ECB released a statement refuting media speculation Collier was to receive a bonus payment as part of the Stanford tie-up.

Meanwhile England batsman Kevin Pietersen called Stanford a "sleazebag".

"Stanford was a sleazebag. I was very uncomfortable with the whole Stanford thing," he told the News of the World.

Pietersen had a deal with Stanford to promote the infamous winner-takes-all clash between England and the Stanford Superstars in November last year, which ended in an embarrassing defeat for England.

He said: "It was not that I was captain at the time, it was the uncomfortable situation of everybody thinking the England team had been sold.

"With the financial state of the world, people were talking about money instead of cricket.

"Those kind of things just didn't seem right to me, so it's not a bad thing we are not going to have that tournament any more.

"I was an ambassador for Stanford - a player face - but that contract has gone."

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see also
Stanford bank in Antigua seized
21 Feb 09 |  Business
Agents find billionaire Stanford
20 Feb 09 |  Americas
Colin Croft column
18 Feb 09 |  West Indies
US fraud charge tycoon disappears
19 Feb 09 |  Americas
ECB suspends talks with Stanford
18 Feb 09 |  England
US tycoon charged over $8bn fraud
17 Feb 09 |  Americas
ECB committed to Stanford Series
09 Nov 08 |  England
ECB defends Stanford involvement
01 Nov 08 |  England
ECB plans Stanford Series review
29 Oct 08 |  England
Stanford plans global expansion
12 Jun 08 |  Cricket


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