Monday, September 04, 2006

More on the cancelled 20/20 Super Star Match

Stanford takes it on chin and lets the WICB get away with more incompetence.

From the wire:

St. John’s, Antigua – 4 September 2006 – The Board of Directors of the Stanford 20/20 hosted a media conference today to clarify their position and the facts in regards to the cancellation of the Super Star Match slated to take place in November 2006.

The conference was hosted by Legend Rev. Wes Hall who detailed the sequence of events as follows:

22 January 2006 - The ICC writes to the WICB approving the dates for the Stanford Super Star Match as November 10th, 11th & 12th, and advising that it will also inform all of the Full Members accordingly.
8 August 2006 – Allen Stanford learns of conflict with Pakistan Tour and Super Star Match and writes Ken Gordon to clarify ICC approval and request assistance with accommodating the match.
14 August 2006 – Ken Gordon responds to Allen Stanford providing a letter he sent to ICC looking for assistance at having dates of Pakistan Tour changed.
15 August 2006 – Allen Stanford responds with thanks and hope that players will not have to choose between Super Star Match and Pakistan Tour.
18 August 2006 – Allen Stanford sends letter to Ken Gordon saying the Stanford Board has decided it would be in the best interest of West Indies Cricket to not conflict with the Pakistan Tour. In that letter, Mr. Stanford also asks if the WICB would be able to provide the names of the players that will be on the Pakistan tour so he can then select a full squad from those players that will be available if the tour dates cannot be changed.
21 August 2006 – Ken Gordon responds saying he is unable to contact the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) President and naming 13 likely players for the squad to go to Pakistan.
23 August 2006 – Ken Gordon forwards an email sent to Shaharyar Khan, PCB President, asking for dates to be changed.
25 August 2006 – Ken Gordon writes to Allen Stanford saying that the PCB is unable to change the tour dates and that selecting the team that will go on that tour is unable to happen as Brian Lara argued against selecting the team prior to the Tri Nation Series.
30 August 2006 – Allen Stanford writes to South Africa cancelling the Super Star Match and informs the players training in Antigua of cancellation.
31 August 2006 – A press release is issued announcing the cancellation of the match
1 September 2006 – In response to a public media release, Ken Gordon issues a press statement saying that he is happy that Pakistan have bent over backwards to change their dates to accommodate the Stanford Super Star Match.

After detailing the sequence of events, Rev Wes went on to explain his phone call from Allen Stanford when he made the hard decision to cancel the match. “In my year of working with Mr. Stanford I have never heard him like this. The only word to describe it is distraught. The man was truly hurt by the chain of events that led to the only decision he could come to.”

Speaking with his board Stanford summed it up succinctly.

“We have done everything right. I have done everything I said I would do and more. We obtained approval from the ruling body for cricket 8 months ago, invited and involved the West Indies board in everything that we are doing. Many of the legends are part of the West Indies Cricket Board.

We had a great tournament and we wanted to sum it all up with our best facing an international side. I am truly sorry that is not able to happen this year. There is too much uncertainty and there is too much at stake to move forward with the match at this stage,” Stanford lamented.

The press conference was also an announcement of the temporary disbanding of the Stanford 20/20 Board until it reconvenes in May after the Cricket World Cup. One of the legends on the Board, Sir Vivian Richards, was very vocal in his feelings for the event, “I am thrilled and extremely pleased to have been involved in something so successful in the Caribbean! I see children on the street playing cricket, I feel the excitement still filtering throughout the region – it was an amazing thing to be a part of.”

For those in the region disappointed by the cancellation of the Super Star Match, do not despair. The South Africans will be invited again to play a Super Star team in mid 2008. The team will come from those players participating in the next Stanford 20/20 tournament which Stanford plans to host between December 2007 and February 2008. All the details for this tournament will be announced when the board reconvenes in May 2007.

“Right now the region should look forward to the hosting of Cricket World Cup and we do not wish to take anything away from that spectacle and its importance to the West Indies people. The way forward for the Stanford 20/20 is an exciting one and we are certain the region will be thrilled when all is revealed next year,” Stanford concluded.


SheldonWaithe said...

As ever the Board (WICB) lives up to its reputed unprofessionalism in this matter. Perhaps the scepticism with which they initially viewed the inaugural 20/20 competition led to a blase approach when formulating tour dates with Pakistan. The Stanford 20/20 surpassed all expectations with the type of cricket played, the professional manner of the organisation and the pomp and revelry that once again reminded sports lovers that the Caribbean is the best place to watch cricket, bar none.

We are still treated to the blame game in all aspects of cricket management in the Caribbean, something that I hoped would be eradicated under the leadership of Ken Gordon. Perhaps it is the remnants of past regimes that still lingers and the WICB is slowly moving towards the level of management required for a team that transformed world cricket and played it like no other. But the simplicity of avoiding a clash when dates were provided 8 months ago (and before the Pak dates were decided) shows the nonchalance that WICB have for Stanford or anyone else that seeks to invest in the West Indian cricket vehicle.

Kudos to him for accepting the clash in a dignified manner, he probably knows that his promotion has started the ball rolling and he will eventually have his super-star match.

While purists (myself included) baulk at 20/20 formats, it suits the faster, modern society and provides much needed exposure for the game. In this, Stanford has created the premier tournament of its kind in the entire world.

Dylan said...

here, here, claude. couldn't agree with you more