Stanford prepares to give out funds

The new yearNew Year will get off to a great start for the cricket boards of the 19 Caribbean countries participating in the Stanford 20/20 Tournament as Antiguan financierbusinessman Allen Stanford prepares to disburse the funds promised to assist the teams in their planning for the competition, scheduled for Summer 2006.

Stanford chaired the meeting of the Stanford 20/20 Board of Directors, comprised of the 14 cricketing legends, and the tournament organizers in St. Kitts to agree on exactly how much each cricket board will be given in this first installment. The amount of funding given to each country will be determined based on the content of the plans that each cricket board has submitted to the organizing committee and the reports and recommendations from the legends. Each legend has ‘adopted’ at least one of the 19 countries, and acts as advisor to the local cricket boards and a liaison between the tournament’stournaments’s organizing committee. The legends will also travel regularly to the jurisdiction to view the progress of the teams and offer any assistance necessary. To date, all but three of the countries have been visited at least once by their legends.

The total money available in this first drawdown to the 19 local cricket boards that are part of the Stanford 20/20 programme is US$2,185,000. This figure includes US$100,000 for the development of facilities, US$5000 for the upkeep of the facilities and US$10,000 coaching and player development. A subsequent monthly stipend of US$15,000 will bring the full amount being provided by Stanford to the 19 participants over the months leading up to the tournament to US$5,320,000.

‘The Stanford 20/20 participants have been working hard on their plans for the tournament since the announcement of the competition,’ said Andy Roberts, Chairman of the Stanford 20/20 Technical Advisory Board. ‘One of the goals of the visits to the countries was to ensure that the local boards have a firm understanding of how Mr. Stanford would like the monies to be spent. I am satisfied that the boards are well on their way to achieving this target. The majority of them will be receiving the entire first installment while some will need to provide a bit more information to the Board.’

Other items on the agenda for the Board meeting were discussions about the advertising campaign for the tournament; the upgrading of the Stanford Cricket Grounds in Antigua in preparation for international TV coverage; the establishment of a Stanford 20/20 Head Office and training ground in St. Kitts; the television broadcasting of the tournament both regionally and internationally; media and public relations plans; and a review of the plans and procedures for managing the disbursement of funds to the local boards. During the meeting, Stanford also announced the addition of Also another member was added to the Stanford 20/20 Board. Mr. Kenneth Allen is originally from Montserrat, has been with the Stanford Group for over 20 years and brings a wealth of legal experience to the Board.

‘We had a very comprehensive and productive meeting here today,’ said Allen Stanford. ‘I think with the dissemination of funds in the new year, the plans for the tournament will begin to gain momentum and find its stride. It was important for the Board to get a clear picture of where we’re at and hear from the legends who have been working closely with the local cricket boards, and who have been providing invaluable input throughout this entire organizational process.’

The evening before the Board meeting Stanford hosted a dinner with the Ministers of the St. Kitts Government Ministers and where he presented a cheque for US$31,400 to St. Kitts Prime Minister Honourable Denzil Douglas for $31,400 for a new(?) pitch at the Conaree Cricket Ground.

For more information about the Stanford 20/20 Tournament, contact organizers Kelly Holding Ltd. on 345.946.8822 or by email at [email protected]. The Stanford 20/20 Tournament is the brainchild of Antiguan financier Allenfinancier Allen Stanford. The tournament will take place in Summer 2006 and feature 19 Caribbean countries all vying for the top spot in a single elimination tournament with the top prize: US$1 million and the runner up US$500,000.

The Stanford 20/20 will be a single elimination knock out competition where the winning team will receive US$1 million and the second place finisher US$500,000; the cricket boards of the top two teams will receive US$200,000 and US$100,000 respectively which must be used toward the development and improvement of the cricket facilities in those countries. In addition, the Man of the Match in every game will receive US$25,000 and the Man of the Match in the final game will receive US$100,000.

In addition, Stanford has also put together a US$28 million budget that will be invested in cricket in the region over the coming months up to November 2006, at which time a Stanford Super-Star team will be selected by the legends to play one match each against two world-class teams to be named. This will be a winner-takes-all competition and the grand prize in each match will be US$5 million or US$10 million total. In order to create an atmosphere for each of the nations to excel within the tournament and to ensure their long-term development, Stanford has included over US$5 Million in support for them, financially and otherwise.

Each country’s cricket body will receive US$100,000 to be used for facilities improvement, training and other development of the team and its members. An additional US$10,000 stipend per month will be given to support the players and coaches, and US$5,000 per month will be disbursed to be used strictly for maintenance and upkeep of each country’s facilities. Stanford will also be hiring two full time nutritionists and four professional athletic trainers to travel around the region regularly in order to train the teams and assist them wherever needed.

Stanford has enlisted the support of 14 cricket legends who will act as ambassadors for the tournament, advancing the philosophy behind the event, assisting with the promotion of the competition throughout the region and supporting the participating countries. These men are Clive Lloyd, Lance Gibbs, Ian Bishop, Sir Everton Weekes, Desmond Haynes, Courtney Walsh, Sir Vivian Richards, Sir Garfield Sobers, Gordon Greenidge, Joel Garner, Wes Hall, Richie Richardson, Curtly Ambrose and Andy Roberts.

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