Stanford confirms $20m match against England

London, June 11:

England’s cricketers will take part in some of the richest matches in sport after it was announced on Wednesday they would be playing a series of $20 million winner-takes all Twenty20 clashes in the Caribbean.

The matches are being bankrolled by Texan billionaire Allen Stanford, the man behind the domestic Twenty20 tournament in the West Indies. Starting on November 1, England will play a series of five annual matches against the Stanford Super Stars, a Caribbean select side, at Stanford’s own ground in Antigua. “I see the Stanford Twenty20 as a fantastic opportunity for current players in the Stanford Twenty20 tournament to take a giant leap into the spotlight and gain exposure to top class opposition,” Stanford said in a statement.

Stanford, who described the matches as offering the richest team prize for a single sporting match, added: “The Stanford Twenty20 for 20 (million dollars) will be a highly anticipated event, not just because of the prize money, but because of the traditional friendly rivalrey that exists between England and the West Indies.”

Twenty20 cricket compared to the ODI or a Test match, has become popular around the world. It led to the creation of a World Twenty20 and the lucrative event in India.