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Oct. 29th, 2008

Generally I actively avoid cricket, something that’s easier said than done if you live round the corner from a cricket ground. However, even I had been made vaguely aware of the existence of the Stanford Series, a week-long championship held in Antigua, privately sponsored by American billionaire Sir Allen Stanford, where every player in the winning team will receive $1 million. Cricket has not yet fallen prey to the warping effects of brain-crushing amounts of money being poured into the game, and concerns have been expressed that this series might herald the beginning of its slide into the kind of decadence that now characterizes football. For example, not all cricketers are yet rapists [citation needed].

It’s off to an inauspicious start. The England captain is unhappy with the state of the pitch and the health of his players: “Yes, it’s a lot of dosh,” he has said, “but the longer this week goes on the more I want to get it over with.”

Possibly the Stanford Series’s greatest liability, though, is Sir Allen Stanford. While the England team were playing a warm-up match against Middlesex, the ground’s TV screens broadcast live pictures of Sir Allen sitting in the England players’ balcony cavorting with three of their wives and girlfriends.

That’s wicketkeeper Matt Prior’s pregnant wife he’s bouncing on his knee. Prior is said to have looked “upset” when he looked up and saw the images. The other players were none too happy either. Stanford has apologised to them personally and, publicly, everyone is keen to put it behind them. But it all adds to the perception of a chaotic and unprofessional event.

Pitch for a film: As a small boy, little Allen Stanford from Texas is attacked by a cricketer (or possibly just by someone with a cricket bat). The experience scars him but drives him to succeed singlemindedly in finance so that one day he can destroy cricket, by buying the whole sport and then cuckolding all the players. Nicolas Cage to star.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 29th, 2008 12:44 pm (UTC)
Is it just me?
I like the Jonathan Agnew quote: "You don't sell your international team off to an American billionaire on an ego trip."

I feel that this statement could be changed to fit several recent events so thoroughly covered in this blog:

"You don't sell your political influence off to an Russian billionaire on an ego trip."

"You don't sell your moral responsibilities off to a couple of radio presenters on an ego trip."

The consistent response to all of these statements seems to be "Yes actually, yes you do. Now be off with you, poor person."
Oct. 29th, 2008 02:26 pm (UTC)
The report I read said he had apologised to the players and officials.

What I want to know is did he apologise to the women? Or do their feelings not matter?
Oct. 29th, 2008 03:37 pm (UTC)
Presumably they were sitting on his lap of their own free will. Have they apologised to their husbands?
Oct. 29th, 2008 04:03 pm (UTC)
We don't know. We'll have to wait until Stanford releases the recordings he's presumably made from bugging the players' accommodation.
Oct. 29th, 2008 04:17 pm (UTC)
The account I read this morning said that he'd pulled her into his lap and that she looked distinctly uncomfortable about it.

Obviously, this next bit is sheer conjecture, but in her position, I bet she was worried about pissing off the megasponsor.
Oct. 29th, 2008 04:48 pm (UTC)
Ah, well in that case perhaps he needs to be taught that all the money in the world won't make a smack in the gob hurt any less...
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 29th, 2008 11:40 pm (UTC)
> I thought they were hired whores

That’s no way to talk about the England team, etc etc.

(There are a lot of whores in this journal today, aren’t there? Does this make me, like, Snoop Dogg?)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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