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Caribbean cricket goes bankrupt

cricket Updated: Nov 24, 2008 23:28 IST
Anand Vasu
Anand Vasu
Hindustan Times
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If you thought the Stanford Twenty20 for 20 (million dollars) was a windfall that would bail out the cash-strapped West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), think again. The WICB are in such financial dire straits that they have approached the International Cricket Council for a loan of $3m, to keep creditors at bay and run the FTP as scheduled.

The ICC's Kaushik Das (CFO) and Haroon Lorgat (CEO) have viewed the request favourably and recommended that to the IDI Board (ICC Development International) that the loan be advanced, "repayable in one year by September 2009 at a minimum interest rate".

A WICB source revealed that the Board had to forego their share of prize money from the Stanford games because of a prior agreement to pay off legal costs accrued in expensive litigation involving team sponsors Digicel.

Under the terms, the amount loaned by the ICC will be adjusted against money due to come to the WICB as their share of distribution to members from the ICC. The WICB is scheduled to receive $2.8 million from the Champions Trophy 2009 in Pakistan and $2.7 million from the World Twenty20 to be played in England next year.

The problem traditionally, with Caribbean cricket, is that the market for the game in the islands is very small, which is why TV rights do not sell for the mammoth prices you hear of in India, or even England or Australia. When you factor in the steady decline in the performances of the team and the absence of any saleable stars, it's easy to understand why the West Indies board finds itself in the position it is in now.