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Stanford loses Twenty20 court battle

The $20 million Twenty20 match between England and the 'Stanford Superstars' is in doubt after the West Indies Cricket Board lost a High Court battle with their sponsors Digicel.

The decision by the court to order the WICB to withdraw its sanction for the match means that it could be called off, or if it goes ahead, will feature a severely weakened West Indies line-up.

The Windies board had argued that, because the 'Stanford Superstars' was not an official West Indies team, the sponsors' rights were not affected, and therefore made all its contracted players available for selection.

Digicel's case claimed that if the match was officially recognised by the WICB, as its official sponsor it would have branding and other commercial rights associated with the deal.

And the court upheld their appeal, ruling that the board must withdraw its sanction or be guilty of a breach of contract with Digicel.

Stanford Superstars selector Sir Viv Richards included many current West Indies players in the squad, including captain Chris Gayle, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, and their absence would make a mockery of the event.

The match, inspired by billionaire businesman Allen Stanford, is due to take place in Antigua on November with the winning side pocketing the $20 million, including $1m per player. The losers walk away with nothing.

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