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Pieterson and Co heading for big pay day

Source - skysports.com

England's players could net $1million each in a one-off Twenty20 match that will be the richest in cricketing history, thanks to Sir Allen Stanford.

The American billionaire was at Lord's to launch his five-year scheme that will see one-off, winner-takes-all contests each with an overall prize fund of $20m.

Billed as '20/20 for 20', England will go up against a Stanford All-Stars XI that will be made up of players drawn from the Caribbean.

Each 20-over-a-side contest is to be staged at Stanford's own ground in Antigua with the first of the series scheduled for November 1 later this year.

Apart from the massive windfall for the winning players, squad members not participating will still share $1m, with the coaching staff also getting the same amount to split between them.

The remaining $3.5m will be shared equally between the England and Wales Cricket Board and the West Indies Cricket Board.

"It is one night, winner-takes-all $20m," Stanford announced. "The winner goes home happy, the loser goes home unhappy.

"I don't think I'm giving it (the money) away. I'm investing it in cricket's future in the West Indies. As everybody knows we are in a bottom of a trough right now.

"I've been in the Caribbean for 26 years, when you see something that you love so dearly - the glue that binds us together - you want to do everything you can to lift it back up.

"We had to do that by creating something that has never been done before and take the sport of cricket in the Caribbean to a professional level."

Stanford arrived at the ground in a helicopter accompanied by former West Indies stars including Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Everton Weeks and Curtley Ambrose.

Sir Ian Botham and Sir Viv Richards were also present, alongside England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Giles Clarke, chief executive David Collier and England coach Peter Moores, who hailed it as an "exciting time" for the sport.

The Twenty20 format has become big business following the success of the world championship last year and the recent Indian Premier League.

A Champions League for teams from England, India, Australia and South Africa is also on the way.

"It will be a different sort of pressure for all the players. It is such an exciting time to be involved in the game," Moores added.

"Here is an opportunity to earn some extra money and that is going to be great for everyone. In modern sport, people know that people get paid differently and you get paid for what you earn the right to.

"If you earn the right to play in that team, you get paid your money.

"The domestic Twenty20 form guide gives the chance to impress and show they can lift up to international level."

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