Bird squawks at Stanford’s $20m

‘If only I was 25 again,’ lamented Joel ‘Big Bird’ Garner, his mind number crunching, working out how much money he would have made had he been born 30 years later.


Stanford expects his side to win. Photo: Ron Shillingford

Billioniare financier Sir Allen Stanford had just announced details of the $20 million Twenty20 match he will soon underwrite.

Had the legendary Garner been in his prime now, his name would be one of the first on the team sheet for the Stanford Superstars against England.

It’s a winner-take-all shoot out and each member of the triumphant side will bank a cool $1m.

Garner earned only a pittance in comparison in a glorious career spanning two decades when his ferocious fast bowling instilled terror in the batsmen from Australia to Zimbabwe.

Sir Vivian Richards, chairman of the Stanford 20/20 selection panel, announced an exciting and diverse group of players in a 32-man Stanford Superstars training squad to prepare for the Stanford 20/20 match in Antigua on November 1.

Everybody was gathered at the Trinidad Hyatt hotel in Port of Spain on Monday where the Trinidad and Tobago players were collecting their championship rings for winning the Stanford 20/20 tournament in February.

No Cayman players are in the Superstars squad – this time – but with youngsters like Ramon Sealy, Darren Cato and Kervin Ebanks improving significantly each summer, it’s only a matter of time one of them breaks through.

Senior West Indies quartet of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Chris Gayle, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Dwayne Bravo are the most notable names in the squad which also includes Stanford 20/20 Player of the Tournament in February Dave Mohammed, the left arm spinner from Trinidad and Tobago.

Also included is Mohammed’s Trinidad and Tobago team mate and leg spinner Samuel Badree while dynamic United States Virgin Islands wicketkeeper Aldermond Lesmond is the fourth wicketkeeper in the squad along with Trinidadian Denesh Ramdin, Lyndon James of St Vincent and the Grenadines and Andre Fletcher of Grenada.

Richards said: ‘This is a squad of the best performers in the two editions of the Stanford 20/20 tournament we’ve had so far and the best players in the region.

‘It was a difficult task to select the top 32 but our selection panel believes that these players will provide us with the firepower and all the other resources to prevail over England in what is the richest prize in team sport history.’

The seven member selection panel also includes legends Sir Everton Weekes, Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose, Andy Roberts, Lance Gibbs and Richie Richardson.

SQUAD: Samuel Badree (Trinidad and Tobago), Lionel Baker (Montserrat), Sulieman Benn (Barbados), Dwayne Bravo (Trinidad and Tobago), Jonathan Carter (Barbados), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (Guyana), Lennox Cush (Guyana), Travis Dowlin (Guyana), Rayad Emrit (Trinidad and Tobago), John Eugene (St Maarten), Andre Fletcher (Grenada), Daren Ganga (Trinidad and Tobago), Chris Gayle (Jamaica), Chad Hampson (Antigua and Barbuda), Monctin Hodge (Anguilla), Danza Hyatt (Jamaica), Lyndon James (St Vincent and the Grenadines), Sylvester Joseph (Antigua and Barbuda), Aldermond Lesmond (United States Virgin Islands), Xavier Marshall (Jamaica), Dave Mohammed (Trinidad and Tobago), Nelon Pascal (Grenada), William Perkins (Trinidad and Tobago), Kieron Pollard (Trinidad and Tobago), Daren Powell (Jamaica), Kieran Powell (Nevis), Denesh Ramdin (Trinidad and Tobago), Darren Sammy (St Lucia), Ramnaresh Sarwan (Guyana), Jerome Taylor (Jamaica), Kelbert Walters (Anguilla), Tonito Willett (Nevis)

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