Telegraph Sports Notebook - Stanford relations have left a stain

Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.
Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.
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So Allen Stanford has been finally received his comeuppance.

The Texan multi-millionaire, the one-time shining knight who would bring prosperity to English cricket, has been sentenced to 110 years in prison for his leading role in a $7b fraud.

A severe punishment for an exceptionally dishonest act and one that should bring to an end the link between Stanford and the English Cricket Board.

But that may just be wishful thinking.

There will forever be a black mark against the chairman, Giles Clarke, who all too readily jumped into bed with Stanford and his promise of untold riches without, although this has always been denied, doing any thorough background checks.

A figure of authority seduced so easily by the big dollar signs flashing before his eyes that he was prepared to sell the sport’s soul in the search of a moment to define his tenure.

Yet all that was achieved was the ability to make the game look desperate, desperate enough that the source of income was secondary to the income itself.

But while Stanford is getting used to life in the American penetentiary system, Clarke is a short period into a new term as ECB chairman following his re-election.

The five-year, $100m deal that was signed in 2008 seems a long time ago and, to all extents and purposes, has been brushed under the carpet.

The England team are winning, money is rolling into the coffers through new TV deals and the game in this country is in pretty good health.

That black mark, however, will still be there.

It was a grubby affair then and the stain hasn’t gone away completely.

Stanford has been forced to answer questions but Clarke, who has been very quiet since the new jailbird’s affairs began to spectacularly unravel, has never fully explained his side of the story.

And I, for one, would be intrigued to hear it.