USA block Cuba from Stanford 20/20
Cuba's debut in international cricket is set to be delayed after US authorities denied Allen Stanford permission to deal with island nation.
Stanford, who organised the Stanford 20/20, is American, and under the terms of the US trade embargo against Cuba, all American citizens have to ask for special permission to deal with Cuban commercial entities.
In a statement Stanford said, We have been anxious to include the entire Caribbean in the Stanford 20/20 Cricket Tournament and I am extremely disappointed that Cuba will not be able to play."
"Stanford 20/20 is requesting that the denial from the United States Government be reconsidered and we are exploring every option to secure their future participation."
There is a precedent for a ban being overturned. Last years World Baseball Classic tournament originally saw Cuba being banned from taking part to prevent Major League Baseball from giving them prize money, but the decision was overturned when the Cuban baseball authorities offered to donate their prize money to the victims of hurricane Katrina.
The ban is surprising, as Cuba will not be travelling to the US, and the US Virgin Islands (the only US territory taking part in the tournament) could not meet Cuba until the final, and such a scenario is highly unlikely. In addition, Stanford is acting in his capacity as an organiser of sport in Antigua, where he also holds citizenship.
A cricket implication from the ban is that the ICC may not be pleased that the US government is essentially having a negative impact on the development of cricket in Cuba, something that they may not look to kindly on when deciding whether to allow the USACA back into the ICC fold.
Hopefully some sort of compromise can be reached, as with the World Baseball Classic, and Cuba will be able take part in their first international tournament.