Whether people agree or not, 20/20 is the future of Cricket. I say this because in the real world of sports money talks louder than the traditionalist. 20/20 Cricket promoted by billionaire Sir Allen Stanford, has taken the gentleman’s game of cricket to a new commercial level very few sports enjoy. Tomorrow, 1st November 2008, the West Indies Stanford Superstars 20/20 team will play England in a US $20M match where the winner will take all. This means every player of the winning team will receive $1 million US. 20/20 may hardly resemble traditional test cricket and the limited 50 over game but it is intensely entertaining and may just be what the Americans will order if it is on the menu.
The tournament has not been without the customary controversy and it was reported in the Trinidad Guardian yesterday that the inaugural winner-takes-all series has been marred by controversy since it began last weekend. Stanford was forced to apologize for his behavior during England’s opening victory over Middlesex on Sunday after he was pictured with Matt Prior’s wife seated on his lap and his arms around other wives and girlfriends. Sir Allen said he didn’t mean to discriminate but he could not accommodate others on his lap since he is not a very big man so he had to hug the rest. I think Matt Prior’s wife is bold enough to make decisions and I suppose sitting on a billionaire’s lap has its unique advantages and thrills. Seriously though, I think she sat with the best of intentions and Stanford had only the good of the Game on his mind. But, my advice to the English team and public is an old Trinidad and Tobago saying “yuh cah fraid power if yuh want tu play mas” or in the Queens English “If You Can’t Stand The Heat, Stay Out Of The Kitchen, Please.”