West Indies cricket in post Stanford 20/20

“The stumps and bails will be silver, and organisers are promising a spectacle during the matches which will be played in the afternoon under natural light and at night under floodlights”.
Had the writer even taken the time to engage in some research he would have realised that colour clothing was introduced to the sport in the Packer era and that the 20/20 version brought nothing new by way of colour except perhaps to the different colour schemes used.
One could however understand the enthusiasm that the writer may well have been attempting to generate among an unsuspecting readership, perhaps more than a little taken in by the huge sums of money being poured into the regional game – the most in its long history.
Everywhere the respected media buffs went to town lauding the Stanford initiative. Perhaps it was all a case of seeing green – the green of the almighty American dollar.
Martin Williamson, managing editor of ‘Cricinfo’ seemed only too anxious to pen a piece which appeared on 9th July 2006, boasting of the ushering in or a new era for the game in the Caribbean.
Williamson wrote:
“The Stanford 20/20 kicks off in Antigua on Tuesday. It is the first major private venture – if you exclude the controversial rebel tours of South Africa in the 1980s – since Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket turned the established game on its head in 1977. Even the millions poured into that pall by comparison with the $28 million invested by American billionaire Alan Stanford.
“Unlike other such events, Stanford has not only made available massive prize money, he has also invested heavily in the infrastructure of the participating countries. Each of the 19 has received $250,000 to help them prepare for the event itself. Up to now, for many such sums were the stuff of dreams. And for the lucky winner, there is another million dollars”.
It seemed that it is the money more than anything else that ushered in a new era in the game of cricket in the Caribbean.

Money Runs Things
But perhaps that is precisely the problem – the amount of money poured into the game by a multi-millionaire; or is it billionaire?