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Stanford looks to the ECB

Billionaire Sir Allen Stanford has called on the England and Wales Cricket Board to be "the future of cricket in their hands".

Stanford has already bankrolled a Twenty20 competition in the West Indies and believes it is only a matter of time before a rival to the Indian Premier League is set up in England.

But Stanford, who is keen to play a financial role in the tournament, believes that ECB needs to become the driving force behind Twenty20 cricket to help it to evolve.

Stanford, who has been holding talks with the ECB, told The Times: "It's come up in discussions. The ECB are conservative. They are very, very carefully analysing it. I would look favourably on a proposal."

"I'm keen that the ECB take the future of cricket in their hands. I'm willing to be a big supporter. I think they're going to reach out to private investors and float something, who knows, down the road. I have spoken to people, a mixture of Europeans and Americans."

"It's a couple of phone calls and we could see something happen. The private sector would be involved, people like myself come in and invest, and the ECB run it. TV revenue would be split."

"If you ask me who's going to be directing the Twenty20 game in the future, it'll be the English. The organisation here is better, the management is better, the structure is better."

"The ECB realise they're at a crossroads. They either let the Indians do it or they step up and get a game plan. You want something that will have lasting value for everybody."

"The ECB, for my estimation, need to be the driver. It's inevitable that the ECB will create a Twenty20 league, it's inevitable that it will involve the private sector and it's inevitable that the game will evolve."

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