by PHILIP SPOONER in Antigua
A WEST INDIES DREAM TEAM has been brought to board, with Allen Stanford pushing the new Stanford 20/20 cricket project aimed at re-energising the game in the region.
The galaxy of stars - Sir Garry Sobers, Sir Viv Richards, Sir Everton Weekes, Clive Lloyd, Lance Gibbs, Wes Hall, Andy Roberts, Joel Garner, Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Richie Richardson, Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose and Ian Bishop comprise the board of directors for the US$28 million project.
They will advise Stanford on matters related to the game and how to implement player-friendly programmes.
Speaking on behalf of the team yesterday, Lloyd, the former West Indies skipper, said the legends were extremely pleased to endorse the ideas which are aimed at improving the game in the region.
"This is a grand initiative," said Lloyd, who led the West Indies from 1974 to 1985.
"One that not just seeks to preserve the rich history of West Indies cricket, but is guaranteed to secure the future well into the 21st century and beyond.
"Comprehensively, this initiative is potentially the single greatest private sector investment in cricket since the Kerry Packer revolution. Like Packer, Stanford has recognised that West Indies cricket at its best has been under-valued and our players have long been grossly underpaid. This is great vision, and the West Indies have
a lot to look forward to."
Sir Garry, the greatest player in the history of the game, also endorsed the new project, saying: "This is magnificent; what more can I say? I am very pleased to be part of it. Let's hope our cricket will make the leap forward from here."
The board met with Stanford for the first time on Sunday night and most said they were overwhelmed by the magnitude of the investment.
"These are the men I will be listening to for advice and guidance," Stanford said yesterday at the tournament launch. "They are the ones who brought glory to the
region and the world and they deserve to be part of any project to revive the game."
He said the logistics of the tournament would be handled by the board, which would also deal with any team issues and manage the technical aspects of the competition, including the rules and regulations.