Winner of Twenty20 invited for $5 mn match


Johannesburg : The American billionaire businessman, Sir Allen Stanford, Monday invited the winner of the India-Pakistan Twenty20 World Championship final to play in the $5 million Stanford Super Star team in the West Indies next year.

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The $5 million winner-take-all match is scheduled for June 29 at the Stanford Cricket Ground in Antigua.

The Super Star Team will be chosen from the players participating in the Stanford 20/20 Regional Tournament taking place from Jan 25 to Feb 24.

Stanford, who is here along with nine members of the Stanford 20/20 Board, extended the invitation to the teams along with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Julian Hunte.

“Since this is the first Twenty20 World Championships and that is the format of our tournament we felt it was fitting to have this team come and play our Super Star Team next year,” Stanford told reporters here.

“It will be the perfect culmination of our 2008 Stanford 20/20 Programme.”

The Stanford 20/20 Programme provides millions annually to develop grass roots cricket throughout the Caribbean as well as hosting the richest domestic tournament in the world featuring a $1 million top prize.

The addition of the Super Star match will provide even more incentives to the players in the regional tournament as well as further highlighting cricket in the West Indies to an international audience.

India and Pakistan are facing each other in the final of Twenty20 at the New Wanderers Stadium Monday.

“I am extremely pleased to be working along with the Stanford 2020 Board in their initiatives to bring back West Indies Cricket to its former glory days and think that this added international component will go a long way to this goal,” said Hunte.

The Stanford 20/20 Board comprises some of the legendary West Indians players like Vivian Richards, Michael Holding, Wes Hall, Lance Gibbs, Richie Richardson, Joel Garner, Desmond Haynes and Courtney Walsh.