India invited to $5 million challenge
In an exciting addition to the already thrilling final of the ICC World Twenty20 Championships Sir Allen Stanford put out an offer of US$5 Million to India, the champions, to come to the Caribbean and play the Stanford Super Star Team in 2008.
“Since this is the first Twenty20 World Championships and that is the format of our tournament we felt it was fitting to have India come and play our Super Star Team next year,” explained Sir Allen. “It will be the perfect culmination of our 2008 Stanford 20/20 Programme.”
Sir Allen extended the invitation along with the President of the WICB, Dr. Julian Hunte, while in South Africa along with 9 members of the Stanford 20/20 Board. The legends, as they are collectively referred to, also in South Africa included Sir Vivian Richards, Michael Holding, Rev Wes Hall, Lance Gibbs, Richie Richardson, Joel Garner, Desmond Haynes and Courtney Walsh. The other board member in attendance was Mr. Ken Allen from Montserrat.
In addition to meeting with the WICB President and the ICC, the Stanford 20/20 Board also hosted a box at the World Twenty20 Championships. “Coming to the first ever World Twenty20 Championships is a great opportunity for all of us on the board. Our inaugural Caribbean tournament was a great success and we can only build on that success by seeing other world class events and learning from them,” enthused former West Indies Captain Richie Richardson.
The US$5 Million winner-take-all match is scheduled for June 29th at the picturesque Stanford Cricket Ground in Antigua. The Super Star Team will be chosen from the players participating in the Stanford 20/20 Regional Tournament taking place from January 25th to February 24th 2008.
The Stanford 20/20 Programme currently provides millions annually to develop grass roots cricket throughout the Caribbean as well as hosting the richest domestic cricket tournament in the world featuring a US$1 Million top prize.
The addition of the Super Star match will provide even more incentives to the players in the Regional Tournament as well as further highlighting cricket in the West Indies to an international audience.
“I am extremely pleased to be working along with the Stanford 2020 Board in their initiatives to bring back West Indies Cricket to its former glory days and think that this added international component will go a long way to this goal,” stated Dr. Hunte. “In our meetings in South Africa and previously the one thing that stands out above all is that these gentlemen truly love West Indies cricket and will do whatever it takes to achieve this goal.”