England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) may be forced to shelve its plans of a quadrangular Twenty20 League rivalling IPL after ending its association with Texan billionaire Allen Stanford,who is accused of fraud. Stanford,who bankrolled the winner-takes-all Twenty20 Super Series featuring a West Indian All-Star team against England,is facing charges of fraud following a raid on his Houston company headquarters.
ECB chief Giles Clarke said it was mistake to get associated with Stanford. We had the best of intentions,so yes, Clarke said when asked whether he regretted the ECBs alliance with the business tycoon.
There is now a strong possibility that the quadrangular Twenty20 tournament which had been due for Lords in May and was expected to include Sri Lanka and Pakistan will now not take place. Clearly we are going to have to look at the matter with some rapidity, Clarke was quoted as saying by Sky News.
The ECB had been facing criticism ever since it aligned with Stanford and the current situation has invited more wrath particularly for Clarke. A lot of us felt it was a serious error of judgment by Giles Clarke to get involved with Stanford in the first place and events would seem to have vindicated that opinion, said Neil Davidson,the chairman of Leicestershire county,who had opposed Clarkes re-election.
Lord Marland,the former Conservative party treasurer who backed out of standing against Clarke in the ECB elections after failing to find support among the counties,lashed out as well.
The picture of Giles Clarke,David Collier (the ECB chief executive) and Allen Stanford standing behind all those dollars will haunt English cricket for a long time. In any other organisation,heads would roll.