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New regional cricket tourney coming

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Antiguan businessman Allen Stanford announced Tuesday the creation of a regional cricket tournament that promises to revitalise the game of cricket in the Caribbean.

The Stanford 20/20 Tournament will take place annually beginning in August and September of 2006 and feature 17 Caribbean countries all vying for the top spot and the top prize: US$1 million.{{more}}

Stanford explained that the tournament 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 championship game will receive US$100,000.

Stanford also unveiled a US$28 million budget that will be invested in cricket in the region over the coming months up to November 2006. At that time, he explained, 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.

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 $5 Million in support for them, financially and otherwise. Each country’s governing cricket body will receive US$100,000 upon its confirmation of participation 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. According to Stanford, the logistics of the tournament will be left to a Technical Advisory Board, chaired by former West Indies great, Andy Roberts. The board will deal with any team issues, and manage the technical aspects of the competition, such as the random drawing of the teams which will face each other in the tournament, and the setting out of the rules and regulations.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is among the 17 countries which have been invited to participate in the competition. All have confirmed their interest. Airfare, team uniform and equipment, expenses and accommodations will be provided for each team.

The first match of the Stanford 20/20 Tournament takes place in August 2006 at the Sticky Wicket in St. Johns, Antigua.

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