I didn’t know women were cricketers’ partners: Stanford


London : Sir Allen Stanford, the American sponsor of the $20 million Twenty20 cricket series in Antigua, has said he did not know the women he was filmed with this week were related to England players.

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Stanford has already apologised after being shown on the giant screen with his arms around an England player’s girlfriend and the wife of another seated on his lap during a match being played in Antigua Monday.

In an interview with The Times newspaper published Friday, the Texan billionaire said the women had not told him they were English. “I did not have a clue that these young ladies were anywhere near related to the players in terms of being a wife or girlfriend or whatever,” Stanford said.

“The cameraman just said, ‘There’s some nice-looking young ladies. Why don’t you get in the middle and say ‘Go England’ with them?’”

Stanford said the one of the women said she was from Los Angeles and another from New Zealand, and added: “Well, I didn’t put any connection to England with that.”

“I would never have gone in there if I’d have known that. It was just a fun thing to do. An innocent thing. I wouldn’t have done anything morally wrong. It was over in a few minutes.” He also denied asking the pregnant wife of England wicketkeeper Matt Prior to sit on his lap.

“The seat in the very middle was taken. So the young lady said, ‘Why don’t you sit here?’ and then she popped down on my knee and the camera came by,” Stanford said.