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Flirting Stanford says sorry to players

Series backer Stanford was pictured with Prior's wife, Emily, on his lap.

AFP |October 29, 2008, 10:47 AM IST
Flirting Stanford says sorry to players

London: Allen Stanford has apologised for an incident involving the wife of England wicket-keeper Matt Prior during the team's Super Series win over Middlesex in Antigua last weekend.

Series backer Stanford was pictured sitting among the wives and girlfriends of the England team with Prior's wife, Emily, on his lap. Pictures of the incident were shown live on big screens at the ground and televised around the world.

"He understood that the players were not particularly pleased with the incident," a Stanford spokesman told the BBC.

"He called both Kevin Pietersen (the England captain) and Matt Prior personally and they have accepted his apology."

A number of England players were upset by the incident with fast bowler Stuart Broad saying: "When the pictures came up on the big screen there were a lot of gobsmacked people in our side. Matt Prior was in state of total shock, especially as his wife is pregnant."

An England spokesman added: "As far as we are concerned, the matter is now closed."

Texan billionaire Stanford, 58, is currently bankrolling the Stanford Super Series at his own ground in Antigua, which culminates with the 20 million dollars winner-takes-all clash between England and his own Caribbean Superstars this weekend.

That match will see players on the winning side pocket one million dollars each (637,000 pounds at the current exchange rate).

One problem that has become apparent during the warm-up matches is the quality of the floodlight at Stanford's ground, where there have been a succession of dropped catches.

The lights cannot be too high or bright because of the venue's proximity to Antigua airport.

As a result some areas of the ground are shrouded in relative darkness and this is proving a problem for fielders in the deep, especially when the ball goes 'above' the lights.

And with all the Twenty20 Super Series matches day/night contests, there is no sign the prioblem will get any easier before the week is out.

English Twenty20 kings Middlesex were beaten by Caribbean counterparts Trinidad and Tobago in the second most lucrative match of the week, the 280,000 dollars Champions Cup.

"There are very difficult catching conditions out there. I have not known a ground where the visibility is as bad," said Middlesex captain Shaun Udal.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4659 119
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 England 4366 104
4 South Africa 3177 102
5 Australia 3270 99
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7748 277
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4720 262
4 India 8620 261
5 Australia 5471 261
see more