Stanford game defended by Moores

on October 20, 2008 by Administrator

Peter Moores has defended the Stanford Super Series after it was criticised by England batsman, Alastair Cook. The England coach was forced into issuing a statement after Cook questioned the motive behind the series.

The batsman publicly expressed his concern that money is the sole motivation for the players competing in the Stanford Twenty20 game with each player standing to earn over £500,000 if they manage to beat a Stanford Superstars team during the match scheduled for the 1st of November.

Cook stated that “the actual cricket is quite unimportant, apart from financially”. He continued to argue that although some of the players are excited about the prospect of competing in the match, due to be played in Antigua, the significance of the game is negligible at best.

England decided to become involved in the match during its launch in June. During this launch, businessman Sir Allen Stanford, who is the brains behind the series, defended his idea, rejecting rumours that it was just a pointless gimmick.

However, Cook’s comments seem to further these suggestions and, worryingly for the organisers, appear to reflect the sentiment of all the England players.

The financial component of the series was evident during the launch in June, when Stanford revealed that each triumphant player would benefit from a £500,000 award and another £1 million would be divided between the coaches and the rest of the squad.

When asked by the media about the prize money, Cook expressed his belief that if the financial component was non-existent, the series would not matter. He ended his crushing statement by stating: “when you’re talking about the Stanford millions or the Ashes, there’s only going to be one winner”.

Peter Moores was just one official in the England set-up to be shocked by Cook’s comments. Moores has hit back by stating that “it’s an international game to be played by England. Alastair knows that and we’ll be very proud to go out there and play for England”.

The England coach acknowledged the financial component inherent in the series, saying that there was no detracting from the fact that there was "a lot of money involved”, but he insisted that national pride was the main motive behind the competition, saying, “when the lads walk out there they will be playing for the badge like they always do for England and will try to win that game to create some momentum to take to India”.

Despite his negative comments that will undoubtedly have caused some embarrassment for the England coaches, Moores has refused to publicly condemn Alastair Cook. He has in fact been keen to express his belief in Cook’s exceptional ability, saying that “every time he pulls on that shirt he gives absolutely everything for his country”.

The coach spoke of a team meeting held last week during which every player and member of the coaching staff expressed the same ambitions and targets for the upcoming matches. However, given the controversy surrounding this particular match, it will be interesting to see how Cook, and the England team as a whole, perform in November.

Written by Charlotte Cook

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