Mon, Feb 23, 2009 - Page 18 News List

Pietersen lost cash to ‘sleazebag’ Stanford

CHANGING TUNE Despite signing a contract to act as an ambassador for tycoon Allen Stanford, the former England captain described the Texan as a ‘sleazebag’

AFP , LONDON

Allen Stanford, third right, celebrates after the Stanford Superstars won the Stanford 20/20 for 20 cricket match against England in St. John’s, Antigua, on Nov. 1.

PHOTO: AP

Former England cricket captain Kevin Pietersen admitted in an interview published yesterday that he had lost money in torn-up contracts with alleged fraudster Allen Stanford.

Pietersen, who did not specify the value of the contracts he had signed with Stanford to be a cricket ambassador, described the Texas financier as a “sleazebag” and said his sponsorship of a tournament involving England made it seem as though “the England team had been sold.”

His comments to the News of the World weekly newspaper came after authorities seized the Bank of Antigua, one of Stanford’s assets, while Peru, Panama, Ecuador, Venezuela and Colombia have also taken action against his banks.

“I was an ambassador for Stanford — a player face — but that contract has gone,” he told the paper.

The News of the World reported that Pietersen had signed a two-year deal with Stanford, with an option to promote Stanford’s winner-takes-all Twenty20 clash for a further three years.

“Stanford was a sleazebag,” Pietersen said. “I was very uncomfortable with the whole Stanford thing.”

“It was not that I was captain at the time, it was the uncomfortable situation of everybody thinking the England team had been sold. With the financial state of the world, people were talking about money instead of cricket,” he said.

“Those kinds of things just didn’t seem right to me, so it’s not a bad thing we are not going to have that tournament anymore,” Pietersen said.

The England and Wales Cricket Board terminated all contracts with Stanford on Friday, and will not be taking part in any further Stanford Twenty20 matches in Antigua or his proposed international quadrangular Twenty20 events in England, the first of which was due to be played at Lord’s in May.

Negotiations between the ECB and Stanford were suspended on Tuesday when it was revealed that the US Securities and Exchange Commission had charged the Texan tycoon with an alleged US$9 billion fraud.

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