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Keeping up with the Stanfords

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Apart from the car-crash fascination with the developing story that is the allegedly global Stanford deposit fraud scheme, the impact to Caribbean cricket can best be described as negligible.
 
In a typically condescending article run by the New York Times yesterday, the writer alluded to the fact that Mr. Stanford was "..just another wealthy financier..." in Texas but in "breezy" Antigua, he lived "...like a lord..".  At an asset worth of US$8 billion, I think that qualified Mr. Stanford as one of world's wealthiest Americans but still the central truth of the piece is most pertinent.
 
Mr. Stanford's primary influence in this region truly ran as far as the Antigua/ Barbuda administration only where he is truly a pillar in their national society.  Closer to home, the local cricket board, while still missing their TT$1.2 million match fee payment from the
Stanford group for participation in last November's tournament, has long prospered under local sponsorship which continues to hold steady.  The same in Barbados, the same in Guyana respectively.
 
The shameful state of the Board's ledger book has been covered previously and with various sponsors cutting back on their previous regional tournament contributions, the Stanford 20/20 tournament remained a timely injection of pizazz, spectator interest and yes, money into the game.  The grim economic forecast for the Caribbean shall place greater pressure on Test sponsor Digicel - presently in restructure mode - to carry some of the cost burden in 2010.
 
Shall the game continue after Stanford's departure? Of course, however, and I am repeating here, the rationalization of the regional tournament into two major host islands must be viewed as essential in obtaining a cost-effective method of maintaining match fitness amongst our players.
 



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