Sep 11, 2008 at 02:47am IST

England names squad for the Stanford series

London: England named a 15-member squad for the Stanford Twenty20 series in the Caribbean in November.

The same team will contest a seven-One-Day International series in India later this winter.

While Michael Vaughan would be relieved to get a central contract yet again, the selections seem to have kicked up a storm already.

What more irony than the fact that the 12 central contracts awarded do not match up to the potential moolah on offer to those 15 players, who could relieve Allen Stanford of $20 million in just three hours of Twenty20 in Antigua on November 1.

"The arrangement that we have for the Stamford Super Series game is that each of the players upon winning the game - and I would like to stress that, to win the game - will be given $1 million and the players who are in the squad, but not on the field, will share $1 million," says Hugh Morris, Managing Director of English Cricket.

While a predictable side for all the upcoming non-Test cricket appointments has been named, the England and Wales Cricket Board perhaps played the chivalry hand by giving the miserably-out-of-form Michael Vaughan a life-line, along with a central contract.

"Michael (Vaughan) if he is playing well is a vital member of it (the squad), we have got some big series coming up and of course the Ashes coming up in the not-too-distant future and Michael has done very well in winning the Ashes last time so, he will be an integral part of that side," Geoff Miller, ECB national selector, says.

While the ECB claims the squad was picked purely on merit and not financial reasons, one wonders then at the anomalous nature of two individuals - Steve Harmison who'd opted not to play in the million-dollar Stanford Series - named in the squad, while swing specialist Mathew Hoggard missed out on his contract.

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