Texan billionaire stuns ECB by calling Test cricket boring

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London, June 12 : Texan billionaire Allen Stanford offered England's cricketers the greatest win bonus in the history of team sport, then declared that the Test cricket is boring, causing embarrassment for the English and Wales Cricket Board which regards the longer version of the game highly.

"I think Test cricket is boring but I'm not a purist. Sir Garfield Sobers and the other legends we have on our board played Test cricket as a fine art," he said.

"If you look at the pavilion here at Lord's, that goes back to the 1700s. That is Test cricket. But the eye in the sky (media centre), that is Twenty20. Test cricket is the foundation but Twenty20 is the future. That's where you're going to make your money," he added.

ECB chairman Giles Clarke shuffled nervously on his stool and offered the best defence he could.

"Sir Allen is a legendary entrepreneur and has the entrepreneur's skill of spotting an opportunity and seizing it. He is more than entitled to his opinions about Test cricket. We've made it very clear how highly we regard Test cricket in this country," Clarke said.

"But this is a chance for the players to show they can really perform under pressure and make some money," The Sun quoted him, as saying.

Stanford believes that Twenty20 cricket can become the most popular team sport in the world.

The Texan billionaire will bankroll a 50million pounds, winner-takes-all annual series between England and Stanford's Super Stars at his cricket ground in Antigua.

The ECB is guaranteed to receive about 1.75million pounds win or lose from each match.

The lucre for the winning side is unprecedented, 6.5million pounds for the starting XI, squad members and back-room staff, and is believed to be the richest team prize for a single sporting match.

ANI

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