[QODLink]
Sport
England reject $20m Twenty20 offers
The ECB have rejected three offers for more $20m Twenty20 matches.
Last Modified: 23 May 2009 10:56 GMT

The fallout from Stanford affair rolls on [GALLO/GETTY]
England has rejected three offers worth $20 million each for one-off games due to concerns about accepting cash windfalls, prompted by the fiasco involving Allen Stanford's short-lived series.

Giles Clarke, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, said he had been "staggered" by the offers that had been made since the collapse of the organisation's five-year $100 million-deal with Stanford.

The Texan tycoon's assets have been frozen since February while he is under investigation for alleged fraud in the United States.

One of the offers the ECB rejected is thought to have come from the Middle East.

"We've got a very crowded calendar and we need to look at those types of proposals, there are serious issues about whether we should be playing individual games for very large sums of money," Clarke said. "There's a strong debate about it, so I don't think it's something the board would view with much favour."

The ECB signed a deal with Stanford in June last year for five winner-take-all $20 million Twenty20 games between England and a West Indies all-star XI with a prize fund of $20 million to be awarded to the winner.

England lost heavily to the local side in the only match played last November and the players were unhappy that Stanford was filmed socialising with their wives and girlfriends.

Standford fraud investigation

The ECB severed ties with Stanford after the fraud investigation was revealed by the FBI and Securities and Exchange Commission.

The SEC has accused Stanford and his top executives of conducting an $8 billion fraud by advising clients to buy certificates of deposit at the Antigua-based Stanford International Bank.

Meanwhile, Clarke believes England can put the on-field upheavals of 2009 behind them and regain the Ashes from Australia this summer.

New team

English cricket was in disarray at the start of the year as both captain Kevin Pietersen and head coach Peter Moores were forced to resign. Under new team director Andy Flower and captain Andrew Strauss, however, England enjoyed a 2-0 whitewash over the West Indies.

"Andrew Strauss has been a calm and decisive leader and has united the dressing room," Clarke said. "Andy Flower is an extremely focused and impressive man and has time to establish what he wants."

Flower's decision in 2003 to wear a black armband during a Cricket World Cup match to protest against the policies of Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe helped the Zimbabwean get the England job, Clarke said.

"He is a highly principled man and this was emphasized to the board in the selection process for why he should be appointed head coach. Cricket is not like all our other sports, so having a head coach with a high moral compass is a good thing," Clarke said. "In all human endeavour if you have a respected leadership and they have gathered a team that is clear in what they want to accomplish and they have the skills you stand an extremely good chance.

"There's no doubt they will receive a great deal of support within the grounds, which is always helpful. The changes take time to work through but what has been done has been impressive."

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.