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Cricket Betting: Why England won't win the Stanford Twenty20 for 20

Twenty20 RSS / / 08 October 2008 / 1

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The Betfair Contrarian just can't stop himself. Here he is arguing why the Stanford Superstars are going to deny England's players the biggest payout in cricketing history.


Cricket 2020 for 20 logo

You might want to hold off on following the Contrarian's normally impeccable advice until the West Indies Cricket Board put their business affairs in order and decide who can and can't play in this cricketing cash grab. In theory, though, England will travel to Antigua to face the Stanford Superstars, a team comprising the West Indies' best Twenty20 performers, in a $20 million winner-takes-all match on November 1. England are [1.68] favourites after three wins against New Zealand earlier this year but The Contrarian thinks only a fool would ignore the [2.26] available on the Superstars taking the money. Here's why:

The West Indies are an improving side


The Stanford Superstars represent the West Indies in all but name and that's good news because they have been getting better at Twenty20. After winning just one of their first five games, against England at the Oval incidentally, they have won two of their three Twenty20 games over the last year. Last December they were victorious in South Africa against a side that had won six of its previous seven contests and in June they triumphed by seven wickets over an Australia team that had won five of its last eight. As this was their first home match, it means they have a 100 per cent record.

And their win percentage is better than England's


The West Indies win percentage in Twenty20 action (when counting ties as halves) stands at 43.75 per cent, marginally better than England's 42.85 per cent success rate. It's also worth noting that while their last two wins came against nations with superior Twenty20 records, England's victories this year came against New Zealand, who have a weaker win percentage. Prior to those three encounters, Kevin Pietersen's side had a woeful 27.27% win ratio.

Kevin Pietersen flops against the West Indies


In his two previous appearances against the West Indies in Twenty20 action, England captain Kevin Pietersen averaged just 17.5 runs compared to his overall Twenty20 average of 25.93. He suffers a similar blip against them in one day action where his average run count of 35.5 falls below his overall average of 38.66. Pietersen has been one of England's two top run scorers in four of their last five Twenty20 internationals so if he fails to deliver against the West Indies again, the visitors are in trouble.

Whereas Gayle has been excelling against England...

West Indies captain Chris Gayle has produced excellent batting performances in his most recent contests against England in test, one day and Twenty20 cricket. He scored 52 runs in his last test innings against England last June, 82 in his last ODI against them last July and 61 last June at the Oval.


...and Bravo won't be missed

The Stanford Superstars were forced to remove Dwayne Bravo from their squad because of an ankle problem but if his Twenty20 record against England is anything to go by, this will prove a blessing in disguise. Bravo made just one run from the two clashes with England last summer


It's not the number one priority for England


Several England players have publicly declared that despite the $1 million payout per player on offer should they triumph against the Stanford Superstars, they are far more interested in trying to win the Ashes next year.

All-rounder Luke Wright said: "Yes, everyone's talking about it as a big game because of the financial side but in a cricketing context it's the lowest priority. We've just got to enjoy this game and see what happens but there was a bigger picture. Obviously, we've got the Ashes (next summer) and to win out in India in the one-dayers."

Steve Harmison, who considered not playing in Antigua to avoid accusations that he was only interested in a pay day, said: "People will go on about the Stanford series and the money that is on offer, but every single Englishman knows the Ashes series against Australia is the one to really win."

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  1. Chuck Pickles | 31 October 2008

    This is the most CONFUSING!!! bunch of CRAP I've erer read in my life!!!