Stanford offers $100 million bounty
Sir Allen Stanford has confirmed that England will take on a West Indies All Star XI in a $20 million Twenty20 match on November 1 this year, the first in a five-match series that comes with a $100 million bounty.
The opening encounter, which will take place at Stanfordís own personal ground in Antigua, can reasonably lay claim to offering the biggest team prize for a single sports match.
The five winner-takes-all games will take place over a five-year period, with future dates and venues yet to be announced.
The English Cricket Board now look to be in pole position to exploit the shortest format of the game, and Stanford has his fingers firmly crossed that everyone can be a winner Ė financially at least.
ďThe loser goes home unhappy, the winner goes home very happy,Ē he said.
ďItís $100 million over five years starting this November. The ECB has the best management, the best structure and organisation to drive cricket into the 21st century.
ďIím not giving away my money, I'm investing it in the future of West Indies cricket Ė weíre at the bottom right now. I want to do everything I can to bring it back up.
England coach Peter Moores was quick to dismiss suggestions that such vast prize money could lead to a split between Test players and their counterparts in the shorter, now more lucrative format of the game.
"Itís a different type of pressure but itís just such a fantastic and exciting time to be involved in the game.
"In modern sport people know that people get paid differently. You get paid what you earn Ė sportís quite a ruthless business.
"Itís an opportunity for everybody. Anybody in the England camp could get into that team if they perform well enough."