Stanford offers Twenty20 pay day

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The winners of this weekend's Twenty20 Cup will be invited to play the Stanford Super Series in the build-up to the £10million match between England and a Caribbean select XI.

Kent, Essex, Durham and Middlesex will compete for the chance to be part of the ground-breaking series in which Trinidad and Tobago will also play in matches against England and the Stanford Super Stars.

ECB chief executive David Collier hailed the arrangement which would give the domestic champions a unique taste of the international game.

"It's a great opportunity for the champions to play Trinidad and Tobago," Collier said.

"A real opportunity to link the domestic game with international game."

Collier also confirmed that there would be no appearance fees on offer for England players in their winner-takes-all clash with the Stanford XI.

West Indies legend Richie Richardson added: "It's going to create interest and enthusiasm that's been lacking in West Indies cricket."

Collier insists he remains "confident" the lucrative Twenty20 Champions League will go ahead as well as the Stanford event.

The winning semi-finalists in this weekend's Twenty20 Cup finals day will ensure qualification for the Champions League, a tournament for all the leading Twenty20 sides around the world with a jackpot of £2.5million for the winners.

But with the rules and regulations yet to be finalised, counties do not know whether they will be eligible for it with Indian cricket chiefs insisting on a ban for all teams that have fielded players who featured in this winter's banned Indian Cricket League tournament.

"I'm confident it will go ahead this year," Collier said.

"We've had discussions during the week, I think it's well known there are some differences about rules and regulations which still have to be ironed out.

"But certainly, we are hoping for two days in the sun, not just one.

"This (Stanford) game is obviously a great game for the counties to go to, but we're also hoping they will be representing us in the Champions League as well."
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