The hesitancy on the part of the WICB in the initial phase may well have suggested the ineptitude of the current leadership and recognition that the entire leadership had been out manoeuvred and outplayed in every department, on and off the field.
Tony Cozier, often dubbed the doyen of the WICB, was as acerbic as ever.
Cozier, writing on 23rd July 2006, observed:
The contrast could not be more stark, the coincidence more ironic.
In the same week that its auditors reported to the West Indies Cricket Board, WICB, that its accumulated debt had reached US$34.9 million, rendering it effectively bankrupt, the richest tournament the game has ever known, anywhere, and involving all the territories under its jurisdiction, was in full triumphant swing, not five miles away from where it has its headquarters.
While the WICB has remained solvent only through money borrowed against the expected, but not guaranteed, windfall from its hosting of next year’s World Cup, Allen Stanford, the Texan tycoon who has based part of his global financial operations in Antigua for more than two decades, has been delighting daily
in the success of the 20/20 Tournament he conceived and financed with an amount that would instantly erase the WICB’s liabilities.
Perhaps though we should express our gratitude to Cozier for hitting the nail on the head when he concluded:
If there is a brash American touch to Stanford’s omnipresent involvement – shaking hands with every player, hugging the winners, joining in each team photo-shoot, presenting every cheque, mingling in the stand with admirers – everyone knows who he is, and who is behind the tournament.
There is hardly a West Indian cricketer who could pick out WICB president Ken Gordon or vice-president Val Banks in an identity parade. It may upset some but, as any politician knows, it makes a world of difference.
There is a very old yet critical saying in the region that money talks and . This old saying is as applicable to our sports journalists in the region today as it is about the many who readily hastened to join Stanfords apparent cricketing gravy train.
Perhaps we may do well to stop for a moment to engage in some critical analysis of what exactly has happened here in the region in terms of the Stanford 20/20 tournament.
No one seems anxious to analyse the ultimate objective of Stanford in respect of his involvement n the sport in the region.