Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Cricket was a money game long before Stanford

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stanfordAn interesting reversal in the accustomed roles of news and sports writers emerges from the newspaper coverage of Allen Stanford, the Antigua-based Texan who faces charges relating to an alleged $8 billion fraud.

Some reports on the news and business pages have described Stanford as a cricket lover. Others have deplored the role money has played in sullying the noble game, a reference to the winner-takes-all $20 million Twenty20 match between England and a West Indies XI bankrolled by Stanford last November.

In their coverage of an explosive story, the news writers are the romantics and the sports writers the realists.

Stanford is no lover of cricket. He made little secret of his distaste for test cricket and would not sit through any match lasting longer than the three or so hours allocated for Twenty20 cricket.

Plenty of winners from drawn test as Stanford loses ECB deal

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In a week when Twenty20 cricket’s highest profile backer fell from grace, the drawn test between West Indies and England provided a strong reminder of the enduring quality of the long-form of the game.

The fraud charges against Allen Stanford have led the England and Wales Cricket Board to end its deal with him, meaning the Stanford-sponsored international Twenty20 events in England will never happen. 

What impact will Stanford charges have on cricket?

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U.S. authorities charged Texas billionaire Allen Stanford and three of his companies with “massive ongoing fraud” on Tuesday as federal agents swooped in on his U.S. headquarters.

The England and West Indies cricket boards quickly suspended sponsorship negotiations with the financier following the news.

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